By Madelaine B. Miraflor
Some of the country’s biggest mining companies have already re-allocated more than P385.4 million of their respective Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) funds for their COVID-19 relief operations.
Of this, local mining companies already utilized P341.6 million to provide social amelioration measures in favor of their host communities, among other COVID-19 relief efforts, a data from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) showed.
To be specific, miners were already able to provide as of June 17 personal protective equipment (PPEs), health supplies and goods, relief goods, and food packages to 1.12 million households and 180,341 frontliners.
The SDMP is supposedly a tool for the development and implementation of community programs, projects and activities for the host and neighboring communities of a mining project.
This is a five-year plan geared towards the development of a responsible, self-reliant and resource-based community capable of developing, implementing and managing development programs, projects and activities.
It was in late March when MGB authorized the re-alignment of unutilized SDMP funds of mining companies to support their host communities during the pandemic.
In a separate statement, members of the Philippine Nickel Industry Association (PNIA) said they already collectively disbursing more than P38 million of their SDMP fund for various COVID-19 relief efforts to benefit frontliners and host communities in the regions of CARAGA, Zambales, and Palawan.
PNIA also provided assistance to key hospitals in Metro Manila and to more than 66,200 households.