PHILEX Mining Corp. said it spent about P13 million on social projects done and delivered in the outlying communities during the first half of the year. Of the amount, P3.5 million represented projects that were carried over from last year, it said.
In a report submitted to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) in Baguio City, Feliciano Diso, Jr., Philex’s community relations manager, said the amount spent for the projects during the period, carried out through the company’s social Development and Management Program (SDMP), accounted for 15 percent of the P86.5 million allotted for 2014.
Livelihood projects had the biggest share at P6.1 million, while education accounted for P5.2 million, and health projects for P1.7 million.
“Most of the projects for this year are still ongoing, so we expect their completion during the second semester,” Diso said, adding that the company also adheres to a strict assessment of any proposed projects in order to reach more villages and beneficiaries.
The MGB requires a miner to set aside 1.5 percent of its total operating cost in the current year for the following year’s SDMP projects and should be involved in the Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) campaign and Development of Mining Technology and Geosciences (DMTG).
Diso said the biggest among the SDMP projects for the first two quarters of the year were the apprenticeship for new college graduates as part of the livelihood category, a subsidy for elementary and secondary students (education), and free hospitalization (health) for beneficiaries.
Philex Mining spent P615,352 for the wages of 29 apprentices under the Work Appreciation Program (WAP) between January and June, as well as P2.4 million to help fund the education of 263 pupils at the Philex Mines Elementary School, in Tuba’s Brgy. Camp 3, and 170 students at the St. Louis High School-Philex at Brgy. Ampucao, Itogon.
Another P1.5 million was spent for 2,783 patients who sought medical help at Padcal’s Sto. Niño Hospital, in Tuba.
“Inasmuch as the bulk of our projects, especially concrete roads, will be delivered toward the end of the year, this explains why we only spent 12 percent of the 2014 budget during the first six months,” Diso said.
He also stressed that spending for related infrastructure projects is included in the SDMP’s respective health, education, and livelihood categories.
In a separate report to the MGB, the official said Philex Mining spent P2.8 million from January to June, or 18 percent of this year’s P15.2-million IEC budget, for activities to make the public aware of the various benefits of mining, and P938,970, or 9 percent of the allotted P10.1 million, for its various DMTG research programs to help develop the geosciences and mining technologies.
The total IEC expenditure for the first half of the year reached P3 million, or 15 percent of the P20.1-million budget, which includes a carryover amount from last year, while DMTG spend reached P1.2 million, or 10.6 percent of P11.1 million.
The biggest among the IEC projects were the support given to public events promoting responsible mining, which amounted to P504,745, and the internal monitoring and evaluation of the SDMP projects at P439,912.
The MGB has said that a mining company’s SDMP, IEC, and DMTG projects for the current year must be worth 75 percent, 15 percent, and 10 percent respectively of 1.5 percent of its previous year’s total operating cost.
Philex Mining’s total operating cost for 2013 was at P6.77 billion. JAMES KONSTANTIN GALVEZ