Philex Mining Corp. has been operating the Padcal mine in Benguet for over half a century. During its 56 years of operations, the Company has established a complete residential community for its employees and a main economic resource for the indigenous communities in the area.
As any company involved in extracting natural resources, it is expected that the Padcal mine will eventually deplete its ore reserves and cease operations. Recognizing its effect on the communities that will be left in Padcal, the Company has concerned itself with how to sustain the communities socio-economic development.
And in line with its mission-vision on corporate responsibility and social and environmental responsibility, Philex Mining wanted to expand its reach beyond the host and neighboring communities. Thus, it opted to create a corporate foundation with the objective of complementing and leveling up its various social projects being carried out through the Social Development and Management Program (SDMP).
Through Philex Group Foundation, Inc., Philex Mining will be able to expand its socio-economic and environmental interventions to other municipalities and provinces.
Established in Sept. 2010, the PGFI thrust includes programs on education, environment, and livelihood, which are all intertwined with the other projects and programs the Foundation has lined up. These programs are intended to help both the mining and host and neighboring communities become economically independent and able to sustain themselves even after the life of the mine. The PGFI hopes to expand its socio-economic development programs to the rest of Tuba and Itogon, Philex Mining’s host towns in Benguet, and, eventually, nationwide.
This holistic livelihood development project is the PGFI Social Enterprise Development Program, which aims to provide alternative and additional sources of income to the Foundation’s stakeholders: the mining community and the host and neighboring communities. Through the program, the Foundation also envisions to boost the agri-business of the highland farmers from subsistence to commercial-level production. This means providing the needed technical, organizational, and business training to empower the stakeholders, as well as highlighting environmentally sustainable farming techniques.
The Foundation’s stakeholders in the mining community are Philex Mining employees and their dependents, whose skills need to be re-tooled in preparation for their eventual retirement from the company; the other stakeholders are the members of the host and neighboring communities, where Padcal mine operates. The latter are mostly farming communities living at subsistence levels. To augment their income, these community members work as miners or as clerical employees at Padcal mine, or indulge in small-scale mining. Over generations, their farms have been left uncared for, with the community foregoing the opportunity to earn more from their farm produce.
The PGFI sees the need to train the host and neighboring communities on how to increase the yield of their land, as well as care for their farms. In this manner, they improve their economic well-being and, at the same time, decrease their dependency on Philex Mining for their socio-economic development. Eventually, the program will be replicated in other communities based on the success of its pilot project currently implemented at Padcal.
To ensure the success of the livelihood programs, the Foundation has established strategic partnerships with like-minded institutions and organizations that can provide the necessary expertise for their implementation.
Besides the Social Enterprise Development Program, the Foundation has been involved in several other projects, such as book donations to public school libraries, tree planting for environment and economic benefits, computer donations to public schools, and calamity assistance in conjunction with other corporate foundations under the MVP Tulong Kapatid. Through these projects, the PGFI invites donors, whether Philex employees, suppliers, or partners; to provide for the outlying communities of Padcal or those affected by the calamities that hit the country.
With these programs, the PGFI hopes to fulfill its strategic vision of being the top-of-mind partner in social investments that enhances stakeholders capabilities for sustainable socio-economic activities.