KASIBU, Nueva Vizcaya: An Australian mine firm has set aside P100 million for the construction and improvement of roads and other development projects in remote villages along the mountain border of Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino provinces.
Officials of OceanaGold Philippines Inc. (OGPI) said this recent development was entered into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Barangay Didipio with various projects for the benefit of the indigenous peoples-dominated upland communities hosting OceanaGold’s Didipio Copper and Gold Project.
Bradley Norman, OGPI country director, said that the implementation of these projects under the agreement is included in the Social Development Management Plan (SDMP) of the company as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) in their project’s host communities.
“This agreement demonstrates our commitment to community development . . . We are very happy that the leaders of Barangay Didipio continue to be our partners in our effort to pursue our commonly shared objectives of sustainable development,” Norman said.
He said P50 million will be used for road network improvement for Didipio and adjoining villages, P15 million for additional barangay water system and P3-million worth elementary school building; as well as livelihood assistance for the residents.
Also under the agreement, a two-story barangay and administration building, a sports complex and another school building for secondary students will be financed by the company; this is aside from the continued extension of scholarship grants to poor but deserving students from Didipio enrolled in different colleges and universities in the Philippines.
General Manager Brennan Lang of OceanaGold’s Didipio project, said that this development is part of the company’s commitments “to improve the lives of local residents of host and adjacent communities.”
OGPI is a local subsidiary of the Melbourne-based OceanaGold Co., a gold producer with projects located on the South Island of New Zealand. It is sanctioned and contracted by the Philippine government to undertake its Didipio Gold-Copper Project in Didipio, a mineral-rich remote mountain village along the border of Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino.