OCEANAGOLD has allocated P100 million or an equivalent of 1.5 percent of this Australian mining corporation’s annual operating cost to fund projects in the communities surrounding its Didipio Gold and Copper Project in Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino provinces.
Chito Gozar, OceanaGold senior vice president for Communications and External Affairs, said the allocated funds are for projects in at least 10 affected barangays (villages) for human resources, enterprise, infrastructure, education, health services, culture and sports.
The 10 recipient-communities are the barangays of Didipio (host of Didipio mining operations), Alimit, Camamasi, Capisaan, Wangal, Tukod, Binogawa, all of Kasibu town in Nueva Vizcaya province and the barangays of Tucod, Dingasan and Dibibi, all of Cabarroguis capital town of Quirino province.
Gozar said that also as part of OceanaGold’s continuing commitment to community development, the company has introduced the establishment of a cooperative to each of its 10 barangays around the Didipio Mine to efficiently manage and implement various community development projects.
Initially, Gozar said, a total of P1.168 million of livelihood fund assistance was granted to the community cooperatives of barangays Wangal and Capisaan in Kasibu town and Barangay Tucod in Cabarroguis town.
He said the established cooperatives will focus on general merchandizing, micro-financing, food terminal, farm supply merchandizing and lending.
“Establishing a cooperative per barangay is the best mechanism to address the needs of our communities through credit lending, capacity building and other social economic innovations which promote sustainability and self-sufficient growth,” Gozar said.
He also said in establishing the cooperative, OceanaGold provides technical and financial assistance to each of the barangays, which then undergoes pre-membership education seminars and a five-year strategic planning workshops.
With all these, he said, the company has now helped established six barangay cooperatives and four more is currently being set up with more than 500 registered members already benefiting.