Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI), in consultation with the local governments hosting the Tampakan Copper-Gold Project, has allocated at least PhP7.6 million from its 2020 Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) to support the host and neighboring communities in their efforts to manage the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As a responsible stakeholder and development partner, we at SMI will always support, within our limited resources, our host LGUs whenever our help is needed. We will assist them in their efforts to fight COVID-19,” said Mr. Joselito Kakilala, SMI’s Community Relations manager.
In coordination with the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, which authorized mining companies to utilize their 2020 SDMP funds to help manage the health and socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 in their host and neighboring communities, SMI realigned at least PhP2.6 million intended for information, education and communication (IEC) and the development of mining technology and geosciences (DMTG) for the purchase of needed food supplies, personal protective equipment and other COVID-19 impact mitigation measures of its host communities.
In addition, PhP5 million from the company’s SDMP fund for Columbio, Sultan Kudarat and Kiblawan, Davao del Sur were also realigned for their COVID-19 relief activities. Coordination is ongoing with the other host municipalities for the realignment of portions of their respective SDMP funds to ease the impact of the COVID-19 in their areas.
Earlier this month, SMI donated 50 non-contact, handheld IR thermal scanners and 13 multi-purpose tents to the 10 municipalities of South Cotabato and the three other host municipalities to improve their COVID-19 detection and prevention program.
SMI also provided 116 sacks of rice to the Provincial Government of South Cotabato to support its relief efforts.
On April 8, SMI turned over a four-wheel drive Hino truck to the Municipal Government of Tampakan to be used in its COVID-19 relief efforts particularly in its mountainous and remote barangays, and released early the operational and administrative funds to its host indigenous community foundations to help their fellow Blaans affected by impacts of the community quarantine.
Mr. Kakilala said that these disaster relief and assistance were provided even if the company has not yet begun its operations, and despite the uncertainties created by the enhanced community quarantine.