TUBA, Benguet – Philex Mining Corporation has signed individual agreements with three of its five outlying communities on the implementation of social projects for this year amounting to almost P83 million and which provides for each host and neighboring barangays to field a representative as part of a team that would monitor and assess the said projects.
Represented by Roy Mangali, assistant resident manager of the company’s gold-and-copper operations in Padcal, and the mine’s manager for community relations (ComRel), Aurora Dolipas, Philex Mining signed on April 10, the memorandums of agreement with three of its five outlying communities in the host towns of Tuba and Itogon.
“Regular monitoring activities (monthly, quarterly, and semi-annual) shall be jointly conducted by the parties and corresponding reportorial requirements by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau-Cordillera are religiously complied with for periodic audit purposes,” each of the three-page MOA says.
Victorio Palangdan and Ignacio Rivera, mayors of Itogon and Tuba, as well as the barangay chairmen present and Remy Ortega, community-affairs officer of MGB-CAR, all described Philex Mining as one of the most, if not the most responsible miners in the region, citing its religious implementation of social and environmental projects and timely tax payments.
“I was the barangay captain of Camp 3, (Tuba), for 20 years, and I witnessed how Philex Mining had been helping the communities by implementing various projects on education, health, livelihood, and public infrastructure,” Rivera said in a speech during ceremonies, which also marked the turning over of the recently finished projects, held at the covered court of Camp 3 Elementary School, along Kennon Road in Tuba.
Palangdan noted Philex Mining’s good governance, particularly its up-to-date payment of taxes, which have helped tremendously in community development.
For 2017, Philex Mining paid local business taxes to Itogon and Tuba amounting to a total of P15.3M. In compliance with the towns’ respective revenue codes, Tuba received almost P8M, or 44 percent of one percent of Philex Mining’s gross receipts for 2016, while Itogon got P7.4M (41.25 percent).
Philex Mining’s Padcal mine has Tuba’s Camp 3 and Ampucao, in Itogon, for its host barangays.
Dolipas earlier said P82.9M had been set aside by Philex Mining for the 2017 Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) for the five outlying barangays.
She added that the amount ballooned to P110.5M to include the P16.6M intended for the information, education, and communication campaign, and P11M dedicated to the Development of Mining Technology and Geosciences (DMTG).
Philex Mining assured it will continuously distribute fairly its socioeconomic projects among its outlying communities. It also vowed to extend its SDMP to other remote villages outside of its outlying communities but within the two host towns, as agreed upon with the local government units concerned.