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NAC-CMC: Helping communities rise from the Covid-19 pandemic
by Philippine Resources - December 09, 2020
NAC-CMC donated PHP1 million for the construction of a Molecular Testing Laboratory (MTL) in Surigao del Norte to boost the province’s detection capability.
By: Sarah Mae M. Palacio
As the world is facing a historic crisis brought by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the economic impacts of the pandemic is felt around the world—especially among far-flung communities that have limited access to government services.
In Dinagat Islands, Cagdianao Mining Corporation—a subsidiary company of Nickel Asia Corporation—is stepping up the plate to respond to the needs not only of its host and neighbouring communities but around the island-province as well.
Notably, NAC-CMC sprung into action even before the pandemic was declared in mid-March. Here are some of the activities, programs, and projects initiated by the company since January this year. January After health authorities announced the first infection in the country in late January, NAC-CMC rolled up its sleeves and conducted a series of information and education campaign to equip our communities with vital knowledge on how to prevent themselves from being infected with the virus. Through the guidance from reliable authorities such as the World Health Organization and the Department of Health, the company taught community stakeholders basic health protocols to avoid catching the virus, such as proper handwashing, basic étiquette when sneezing and coughing, and social distancing. The company also prohibited the selling of goods to the foreign vessels that were coming in as a precaution.
February Just as when the public was only beginning to understand the severity of the virus, NAC-CMC already formulated strategies and precautionary measures to prevent the entry of COVID-19 in its mine site. This proactive thinking has earned praises from no less than Dr. Jillian Francis Lee, the Provincial Health Officer, who praised the company for immediately instituting wide-ranging health protocols against Covid-19 across its operations.NAC-CMC was one of the first companies to comply with the health protocols mandated by the Bureau of Quarantine, MARINA, the Philippine Port Agency, and the Department of Health. March When the first local transmission was detected in the country, quarantine restrictions became more severe, impacting businesses and causing job losses and economic displacements especially among the poor. Local governments implemented drastic movement restrictions and lockdowns to respond to the rising number of Covid-19 cases.
The province of Dinagat Islands was not an exemption, ordering the stoppage of operations and banning of entry of foreign vessels into the mining sites. NAC-CMC was not spared, and the jobs of its nearly 2,000 employees were on the line. Community-assisted livelihood groups were also in danger of losing much-needed financial support.
However, NAC-CMC’s foresight and proactive health measures that were put in place early on have paid off. Seeing its commitment to preventing the entry of the virus and its desire to help communities and assist the local and provincial governments to fight the virus, the Provincial Government gave the green light for the company to continue its mining operations.
At this point, the company further intensified its Covid-19 containment measures by installing care and containment centers in its mine site while putting in place systems and procedures to ensure that its employees, contractors, and its communities are protected. For instance, incoming stevedores and employees were required to undergo a 14-day quarantine, supervised by the company’s owned physician and health personnel.
Impressed by its readiness and forward-thinking initiatives, Governor Arlene “Kaka” Bag-ao personally visited the company’s containment center together with the Provincial Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to certify the company’s capability in handling the Persons Under Monitoring (PUM). She also praised the implementation of ship loading protocols on the prevention of the spread of the virus.
At this time, NAC-CMC is on full-throttle rallying the people to further ensure that the company and the community are protected from Covid-19. No less than Dr. Alvin Pura, the company physician with Engr. Arnilo C. Milaor, the Resident Mine Manager, led the series of information and education drive among residents and village officials in host and neighbouring communities as well as the employees to ensure that all the health measures in place are complied with at all times. Engr. Milaor and Dr. Pura also reassured all stakeholders that the company will continue providing assistance to boost the Covid-19 response of both the local and provincial governments.
April A major part of the company’s response efforts focused on providing its communities with the basic necessities, amid the lockdown and restriction movements that made it difficult for people to access food and other essential services. To strengthen its Covid-19 response, NAC-CMC turned over a Heavy-Duty Isuzu Truck worth PHP1.5 million to the Municipality of Cagdianao. The truck improved the town’s mobility in responding to crisis situations and aided it greatly in its relief operations. Mayor Adolfo E. Longos said, “the service truck is very useful especially that the local government unit has many programs and activities to combat COVID-19, particularly in the distribution of relief goods to the 14 barangays of Cagdianao and serves as service vehicle during emergency cases.”
In the following week, the company also handed over a Service Ambulance to the Municipality to address emergency cases at a time of the pandemic.
June Data from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau-Caraga, CMC has disbursed over PHP3 million from its Social Development and Management Program or SDMP and PHP 1.3 million from its Corporate Social Responsibility. Most of these funds went to food supplies such as rice, bangus, canned goods for host and neighbouring communities, personal protective equipment to the medical front-liners, survival garden kits to 1,300 households that included short-term seeds.
A special project for the province was also donated by NAC-CMC for the “Katre-Karpintero” program of Governor Kaka consisting of 150 beds intended for all the seven municipalities in the province. The project also benefited carpenters and construction workers from various municipalities who were tapped to work for the project.
More notably, NAC-CMC also donated PHP1 million for the construction of a Molecular Testing Laboratory (MTL) in Surigao del Norte to boost the province’s detection capability. The other companies involved in the project are NAC sister-company Taganito Mining Corporation and the Taganito HPAL Nickel Corporation.
July – Present NAC-CMC’s commitment to assist its communities in all fronts continues to this day. The company continues to provide both the province and local governments the necessary assistance to combat Covid-19 through the provision of rapid test kits, PPEs, hand washing devices, and medicines. It has also provided regular supplies of rice and other necessities to the provincial care and containment centers, helping farmers and local suppliers in the process.
As of October, CMC has spent PHP6,354,020 from its Social Development and Management Program (4,516,141.04) and Corporate Social Responsibility (Php 1,837,879.16).
These and all efforts that began even before the pandemic have greatly resulted in NAC-CMC maintaining its status as a Covid-free mine site, while helping barangay, municipal, and provincial governments in their pandemic response. The company commits to sustain these initiatives as long as the situation requires, in keeping with its mission to make mining an important partner in community development—especially in times of crises.
“CMC is in unity with the LGU of the Province and the National government down to Local Inter-agency task force (IATF) in the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 in its workplace and the community where we operate. CMC successfully implemented its 3 level infectious disease prevention by strict adherence to 14-day quarantine of the foreign vessels, acquisition of entry permit issued by PDI and health inspection of CMC medical staff of all vessel's crew. For the protection of our host and neighbouring communities, we provide necessary assistance such provision of sanitation kits, regular IEC, house to house health inspection and sanitation, among others.” Engr. Milaor assured.
Philippine Resources - December 14, 2020
Gold BCR (GBCR): Blockchain Technologies with Junior Mining Companies
Gold BCR (GBCR): Building an empire of enduring wealth based on innovative blockchain technologies with junior mining companies. In this new era, modern science and innovation technologies are changing rapidly every day. Innovative new disruptive technologies ideas in mining are now meeting together with blockchain. These new disruptive technologies such as blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, new online retail, big data, social media, sharing economy, financial technology, convenience applications have all begun to come in succession, bringing a trend of dynastic change. Driven by innovation these new economic development models have shaped the way we are living life today which has been dominated by the internet industry. Every time a disruptive technology emerges, there will be markets that will shake as the change occurs and new economic models will supersede old economic models. As the saying goes "the fittest shall survive". No matter big, small and medium-sized enterprises, they must stay innovative and face the harsh test of economic changes and adapt, and only then "survive and thrive."The great inventor, Thomas Edison once said: “science needs imagination, and innovation is the key to invention.” Planes and high-speed trains have realized the exaggerated imagination of our ancestors that “a thousand miles will be travelled to and fro in one day". The invention of video communication that seems like travel through time and space, so that people can be” as close as neighbours” even if they are thousands of miles apart. In this modern era, if we can combine centuries-old traditional industries with science and technology, and add innovative ideas, everything may become a reality.Gold BCR - (GBCR) is the world's first blockchain mining project to be backed by real gold from mining companies in Australia and is looking for other miners who may be interested in collaborating in PNG and the Philippines. For More Information, go online to www.goldbcr.io
Philippine Resources - February 28, 2019
Hinatuan Mining Corporation (NAC-HMC) turns over Soft-shell Crab Project
Nickel Asia Corporation - Hinatuan Mining Corporation (NAC-HMC), represented by ComRel Manager Antonio B. Resuera Jr., has turned over soft-shell crab project to three (3) indigent families of its host community last November 27, 2018. The project location is at Looc, Sitio Bagong Silang, Barangay Talavera, Tagana-an, Surigao del Norte. Beneficiaries of the said project are Rosita G. Sandico, Cristine C. Baguinaon and Arnulfo C. Copag Sr. They were selected as beneficiaries of the project based on the Local Socio-Economic Profile conducted earlier as part of the commitment of NAC-HMC to contribute to a brighter future for its people and its communities. The beneficiaries are also not part of any People’s Organization (POs) in the host community. Rosita G. Sandico and Cristine C. Baguinaon reside in Looc, Sitio Bagong Silang while Arnulfo C. Copag Sr. lives at Brgy. Talavera.“Nagpasalamat kami sa amoa nadawat na proyekto gikan sa livelihood program sa NAC-HMC. Daku namo na kalipay ug kinasing-kasing namo nga pagadawaton kining proyekto nga soft-shell crab project”, (we are thankful for receiving this project from the livelihood program of NAC-HMC. We are very happy and are wholeheartedly accepting the soft-shell crab project awarded to us) said Rosita G. Sandico.She further added that, “daku kini na katabang alang kanamo, ilabi na sa among panginabuhian, ilabi na sa akoa na senior citizen na man. Nalipay kaau ko kay isa ako sa nakadawat ani na proyekto. Amo gajud kani ampingan ug palambuan aron aduna kami mapanginuhaan alang sa among panginabuhi. Sa maka usab, daghan salamat sa inyo tabang kanamo NAC-HMC” (This is a big help to us, especially on our livelihood, especially to me who is already a senior citizen. I am very happy to be selected as one of the project recipients. In return, we will try our best to take care and develop the project in order for it to be sustainable and become a steady source of income for our livelihood. Once again, I am very thankful for the help you have given us NAC-HMC).Representative of Host and Neighboring Communities (RHNC) Chairwoman and Brgy. Talavera Councilor Eulita C. Borja who was also present during the turn-over ceremony reminded the project recipients to not take for granted the project provided by NAC-HMC, saying that, “to the project recipients, please take care of the project provided by NAC-HMC as it will be helpful to your livelihood.”She was also thankful to NAC-HMC for the support it provided the residents of the host community particularly in livelihood, “Thank you for the help and for the care you have shown to the residents by helping them with livelihood projects such as this, thank you NAC-HMC for the support.”Additional supplies for the care and maintenance of the soft-shell crab project were also provided by NAC-HMC to project beneficiaries to help ensure the success and sustainability of the project. As part of the commitment of NAC-HMC to assist its host community, technical experts from the City Agriculturists Office (CAGRO) of Tagum City were also tapped for the project’s implementation. They were also the ones who helped in establishing the soft-shell and crab fattening pilot projects in the mine site of NAC-HMC.
Philippine Resources - September 06, 2019
GHD opens new office in the Philippines
Gracing the opening of GHD’s third office in the Philippines are Darren Shrives, General Manager – Philippines, Steven Robinson, AO, Australian Ambassador to the Philippines, and Ian Fraser, General Manager – Asia Pacific.“As we head towards 75 years of formal diplomatic ties, we continue to strengthen the deep and broad connections between Australia and the Philippines,” Steven said. The new office is located in Quezon City, a rapidly growing business hub located north of the Philippine capital, Metro Manila.Darren shares, “Quezon City is home to many of our key clients in the Philippines, so our proximity to them helps us collaborate better. Aside from this, our new office forges our commitment to provide a better and more accessible workplace to our staff.”GHD’s local teams worked on the biophilic design of the new office. It is has approximately 120 working stations, four meeting rooms, and several collaboration areas. Aside from encouraging staff to interact freely within the area, the overall design of the new office has an "outdoor" feel, as evident in the textures/elements of its interiors.
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Philippine Resources - April 06, 2021
Philippines Unlikely to Fulfill China's Nickel Ore Requirements
Despite the resumption of many mining operations in the region, the Philippines is unlikely to fulfill China's nickel ore requirements, according to an S&P report. Philippine mined nickel production is expected to increase over the next five years, according to an S&P Global Market Intelligence industry survey, as producers aim to satisfy Chinese nickel ore demand. However, S&P analysts said, “We believe that legislation will remain a major hurdle for restarts and new projects, therefore the Philippines will be unable to meet Chinese nickel ore demand over our forecast period.” Three nickel mines in the world that had been closed due to the coronavirus disease in 2019 were reopened in 2020 when the government turned to the mining industry to help offset the economic effects of the disease (Covid-19). These restarts and demand from current mining facilities, according to foreign analysts, are expected to raise Philippine mined nickel output from 340,000 tonnes in 2020 to 550,000 tonnes in 2025. “However, we believe that existing environmental restrictions on Philippine mining will limit the scope for further mine restarts or additional production from new mining projects in the medium term,” S&P analysts said. “This will prevent the Philippines from meeting China’s nickel ore requirements in Indonesia’s absence, driving Chinese primary output down from an estimated 715,000 tonnes in 2020 to 490,000 tonnes in 2025.” The Philippine Nickel Industry Association (PNIA) previously reported that the country's nickel export value increased by P1 billion from January to September 2020, compared to P24 billion in the same timeframe last year. According to a survey from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), the Philippine nickel industry produced 18.5 million dry metric tons (DMT) in 2020, down 14% from the previous year's 21.6 million DMT production. MGB stated that the lower output was primarily due to the increased community quarantine imposed by Covid-19 from March to May 2020, during which mineral product movement was restricted across the world. The increased performance in export value for the nickel industry, according to PNIA President Dante Bravo, was primarily motivated by demand increases in nickel prices. China's consistent demand boosted the world nickel price in 2020.
Philippine Resources - April 06, 2021
Forecasts for PH Development in 2021 Have Been Reduced
Fitch Solutions, a London-based think tank, has slashed its economic growth forecast for the Philippines this year, citing the return to tough lockdown measures in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, which is expected to dampen domestic investment in the short term. Fitch Solutions now expects the Philippines' actual gross domestic product (GDP) to rise by 5.8% this year, down from the initial estimate of 7.6%, due to the government's capital spending push being derailed. “The surge in COVID-19 cases in the Philippines in March and lockdown measures imposed reflect the continued risks to the archipelago’s economic outlook,” the think tank said in a research note dated April 1. The government has reimposed curfew policies in Metro Manila and neighbouring provinces, affecting an unprecedented 24 million inhabitants, as it struggles to control the pandemic. Given the continuing increase in cases and the long-term effect on hospital capacity, Fitch Solutions expects the lockout steps to be extended beyond two weeks. “The likelihood of further outbreaks in other regions remains high and given the slow vaccination rollout in the country (less than 1 per cent of the population has been vaccinated as of end-March) we believe the Philippines’ recovery will continue to be hampered by the pandemic,” Fitch Solutions said. Regional outlook The think tank went on to say that its new estimate of 5.8% also had downside risks. It stated that its forecast for a moderate recovery this year was based on the assumption that domestic demand would steadily improve and the government's investment plans would be realized, resulting in a sharp increase in domestic activity. “However, the slow vaccine rollout and recurrent difficulties in containing outbreaks look set to stall the recovery further,” it noted. A survey of economists in the Asean-5 and India found that the Philippines' growth projection was 5.2 per cent, down from 5.9 per cent in the previous poll last December. Although Asian countries that carried out mass vaccination earlier, such as India, Indonesia, and Singapore, saw their near-term economic prospects boost, gradual inoculation tempered economists' growth aspirations for the Philippines, according to a poll released on Monday by the think tank Japan Center for Economic Research (JCER). Economists following the Philippines predicted that GDP will contract by 3.8 per cent year on year in the first quarter, up from 0.7 per cent a year before. GDP will rise 8.4% year over year in the second quarter, 5.6 per cent in the third quarter, and 4.5 per cent in the fourth quarter due to base effects from last year's low. Malaysia and Thailand, including the Philippines, have weaker growth forecasts for 2021. “Most economists see the rollout of COVID-19 vaccination as one of the most significant positive developments over the last three months and all three upward-trending countries have rolled out vaccinations relatively sooner. This may have improved economists’ outlooks. Delays in vaccination and the spread of COVID-19 variants are listed as factors that might damage the economies,” JCER said. Top concerns Faster dissemination of COVID-19 variants and delayed vaccination, or "corona shock," were described as top economic issues in the Philippines, but higher inflation was also identified as a major threat to the country's recovery from the pandemic-induced recession. According to analysts, headline inflation will average 4.5 per cent in the first quarter, 4.8 per cent in the second, 4.7 per cent in the third, and 4.2 per cent in the fourth quarter, averaging 4.5 per cent in 2021, way above the target range of 2-4 per cent. With a 6.1 per cent increase, Singapore is forecast to lead economic growth in the Asean-5 this year, led by Malaysia's 5.3 per cent and Philippines' 5.2 per cent. According to the JCER report, India will rise at a higher rate of 11.2 per cent in 2021. Economists predicted that the Philippines' average GDP growth will be 6% in 2022, up from 5.8% in December but still below the government's goal.
Philippine Resources - April 06, 2021
Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge Expected to Open in June 2021
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is concentrating not only on the civil work’s development of the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge Project but also on keeping the workplace secure and clean. DPWH Secretary Mark A. Villar said, "that at 86 per cent and with just a few more days to fully complete the new Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge, we are mindful that a single case of COVID-19 in the project can lead to an interruption, if not total work stoppage" Secretary Villar recently issued revised guidelines in Department Order #30 for the implementation of ECQ, MECQ, GCQ, and MGCQ infrastructure projects, both public and private, during the public health crisis. "Although the bridge project is being rushed for completion in June 2021, it is critical that construction firms be proactive rather than reactive in dealing with the increased risk of illness from COVID-19," Secretary Villar added. Emil K. Sadain, Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations, and UPMO Roads Management Cluster 1 Project Manager Benjamin Bautista checked the physical progress of the bridge project on Monday, April 5, 2021, and the contractor's compliance with protocols that cover prevention, detection, and rapid response to maintain construction work continuity as workers who have been living in the barracks resume work after the Lenten season. “Let’s get to work healthy to get the job done”, Undersecretary Sadain reminded the contractor China Road and Bridge Corporation citing the current health situation, particularly in the NCR Plus bubble. In his report to Secretary Villar, Undersecretary Sadain reported that the project is more than 12% ahead of time, having completed all bridge substructure works for abutments A and B on both sides and piers of the Makati approach bridge; the V-shaped piers for the Main Bridge; concrete box girder for the approach bridge; and the V-shaped piers for the Main Bridg; and two (2) prestressed concrete box girder segments using the traditional approach. Post-tensioning and grouting works, formworks and rebar installation for the closure section in the side spans, formworks installation for the 2-meter closure section in the main bridge span, and preparatory works for approach road construction on both sides are now the focus of bridge construction activities. The new 506-linear meter bridge, funded by China and introduced by the DPWH UPMO - Roads Management Cluster 1 (Bilateral), would have a diameter of 21.65 meters, capable of four (4) lanes instead of two (2), and three-meter sidewalks on both sides. The P1.46 billion new Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge, which is scheduled to be completed in the second quarter of 2021, will handle 50,000 vehicles a day and minimize travel time between Mandaluyong and Makati to 12 minutes. The bridge will connect Estrella Street in Makati to Barangka Drive in Mandaluyong, helping to relieve traffic congestion on EDSA by providing an alternative route for motorists.