TUBA, Benguet – Philex Mining Corp. is set to turn over by the end of the year almost P14 million worth of infrastructure projects—ranging from concrete road and retaining wall to drainage canal and grouted riprap with parapet wall to health center and science laboratory to its host town of Itogon in this province.
Covering the company’s social-program accomplishments for the second and third quarters, the 33 projects were implemented in the town’s host barangay of Ampucao and the neighboring barangay of Dalupirip, Roy Mangali, AVP at Philex Mining and assistant resident manager at Padcal mine, said.
“Community development is our way of telling our host and neighboring communities that Philex Mining really cares for them,” he added, stressing that a report on the projects to be turned over to another of the two host towns Tuba is still being finalized. “And we’re just talking about public infrastructure here. Of course, we have other community projects, such as health, education, livelihood, and environmental protection.”
In a report prepared by Jamal Agustin, coordinator for public infrastructure at Padcal mine, Philex Mining’s gold-and-copper operations in Benguet, the construction of the Barangay Disaster Risk Management Center, in Brgy. Ampucao’s Sitio Ampucao Proper, was the biggest project at P1.5 million, followed by the renovation of the science laboratory building at the Laurencio Fianza National High School, in Brgy. Dalupirip, to the tune of P1.2 million.
Last August, Philex Mining turned over P6 million worth of (five) infrastructure projects under its 2016 annual budget allocation to Brgy. Ampucao in formal ceremonies graced by Benguet Gov. Crescencio Pacalso, Itogon Mayor Victorio Palangdan, and other government officials.
The company has been conscientiously practicing responsible mining, including the implementation of social projects in its outlying communities (both host and neighboring) through the SDMP, or Social Development and Management Program.
The current year’s budget for SDMP, IEC (Information, Education and Communications) campaign, and DMTG, or Development of Mining Technology and Geosciences, is mandated as 1.5 percent of a miner’s total operating expenses in the previous year. Of the 1.5-percent, 75 percent goes to SDMP, 15 percent for IEC, and 10 percent for DMTG.
Philex Mining allottedfor this year P110.48 million for the various projects under SDMP, IEC, and DMTG, bringing toP730.48 million the total budget that had been set aside for the said projects in the 15 years to date. During the first half of 2017, the company completed P15.84 million worth of infra projects that were part of the 2016 SDMP, with those delivered between April and June alone amounting to P5.95 million and, for the first quarter, P9.88 million.
From 2016 up to the first half of this year alone, Philex Mining had completed P40.34 million worth of projects, such as farm-to-market roads, bridges, electrification, and potable water systems, in Itogon and Tuba.
Last year, a total of 67 projects were delivered to outlying communities, to the tune of P24.5 million or 36.58 percent of the 2016 total infra budget of P66,987,723.13.
Philex Mining had set aside P81.53 million for its 2016 community-development projects under the SDMP, which covers Camp 3 (in Tuba) and Ampucao for its host barangays, as well as Camp 1 and Ansagan (both in Tuba) and Dalupirip for its neighboring barangays.
In a 2016 report submitted to the regional Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), in Baguio City, Philex Mining said it allocated P16.31 million for its IEC or media and public campaign on the various benefits derived from mining, and another P10.87 million for the development of the industry through its DMTG.
An agency under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), MGB is tasked to regulate the mining industry.
Philex Mining had allotted a total of P110 million for its 2016 SDMP, IEC, and DMTG based on its 2015 operating expenses of P7.3 billion.