As the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases continue to rise in the Caraga Region, the region’s mining industry said it has stepped up relief efforts to ease the pandemic’s impact on the region’s over two million households.
In a statement Monday, the Caraga Region Chamber of Mines Inc. (CMCRI) said the region’s large-scale mining sector has cumulatively spent over PHP364 million from March to July 8 for the various Covid-19 assistance to families and local government units in the area.
“We will continue to partner with our communities and the government in whatever we can to lighten the burden of ordinary families affected by this global health crisis, while helping our courageous medical front-liners contain the virus more effectively,” said Corsino Odtojan, CMCRI president.
A separate statement of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau-Region 13 (MGB-13) said the various forms of assistance that large-scale miners include food packs, livelihood kits, vegetable garden kits, ambulance and other transport vehicles, disinfectants, personal protective equipment for front-liners, and other support services to host and neighboring communities.
As of July 8, MGB-13 said the PHP132 million spent by mining companies from their Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) funds have already assisted over 1.2 million households in the region.
MGB-13 said it has allowed the realignment of over PHP402 million from SDMP funds for Covid-19 response, on top of the money spent by mining companies from their own Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
The Cagdianao Mining Corporation in Dinagat Islands province has set aside a total of PHP1.5 million for Covid-related response from its CSR, aside from the PHP4.5-million allocation from the company’s SDMP budget, MGB records showed.
“The Mines and Geosciences Bureau together with the Mining Industry is in unity with the Filipino people on the performance of tasks pursuant to Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act,” MGB-13 said.
The agency also noted that mining companies in the region managed to surpass the 1,183,887 families target beneficiaries from the realigned SDMP funds.
At least 209,661 front-liners have also benefited from the SDMP funds of the mining companies during the period, MGB-13 said.
“Whether there is a pandemic or not, we are ready to respond to the call of the government, and help our struggling families and communities come out of this crisis stronger and more resilient,” said Odtojan. (PNA)