TUBA, Benguet—Philex Mining Corp. has allotted a total of P109.32 million for this year’s programs on infrastructure, information dissemination, and research and development, following several community-based consultations and planning workshops conducted in the outlying communities of its Padcal mine, in this province.

Noting that the company “believes that the community knows what is best for them,” Padcal mine’s Community Relations Department said a team composed of representatives from Philex Mining as well as from the local government units municipal and barangay had conducted site assessments and technical evaluation of the proposed community projects.

“The results of the site assessments and technical evaluation were then presented to the local government units resulting in the proper prioritization of proposed projects per area,” Philex ComRel said in a 95-page report, entitled “2018 Annual Social Development and Management Program,” submitted to the regional MGB, or Mines and Geosciences Bureau, in Baguio City.

The total allocation of P109,317,925.29, as mandated by the MGB, a government agency that regulates the mining industry and operates under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, is 1.5 percent of the company’s 2017 total operating costs of P7,287,861,686. 

ComRel said the allocated amount is broken down into P81.75 million for Social Development and Management Program, P16.35 million for the Information, Education and Communications campaign, and P10.9 million for the Development of Mining Technology and Geosciences; and P315,281 for the company’s Poro Point Installation, in San Fernando, La Union.

The budget set aside for Poro Point, situated on the coastal village of Poro and where Philex Mining ships its copper concentrate from to a refinery abroad for further processing, includes all its SDMP, which involves community development through public infrastructure, IEC, and DMTG, composed of R&D, workshops, training, and scholarships for industry professionals.

During formal ceremonies held at Padcal mine’s Smith Hall, in Tuba town’s Sitio Padcal, Brgy. Camp 3, on Wednesday, April 18, Philex Mining signed an agreement with each of its five outlying communities, both host and neighboring, on the projects and programs involving SDMP, IEC, and DMTG to be implemented this year.

“That both parties shall see to it that all PPAs [programs, projects and activities] provided in the approved 2018 ASDMP of PHILEX shall be religiously implemented,” the two-page MOA said among its other provisions.

Philex Mining and its host villages of Camp 3, in Tuba, and Ampucao, in Itogon; and its neighboring villages of Camp 1 and Ansagan (both in Tuba), and Dalupirip (Itogon) also agreed that they jointly conduct regular monitoring of the implemented projects as well as compile the corresponding reports required by the MGB-DENR.

April 18 also marked the turn-over of P56 million worth of infrastructure projects ranging from concrete road and retaining wall to school-ground shed and health-care facilities to the irrigation system and potable water installation to the outlying communities.

ComRel has said that P51,745,339.63 of the total P55,596,589.76 projects covered those that were carried out through its SDMP carried out in areas where a miner has ongoing operations while P3,851,250.13 involved projects under the CDP, which covers areas undergoing exploration.

-Dexter A. See