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TVIRD-Agata COVID-19 Response Brings Relief to 10,000 Families, Livelihood to Rural Farmers
by Philippine Resources - January 21, 2021
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines – that brought the nation’s economy to a virtual standstill and left thousands confined to hospitals, stricken with the deadly virus – communities in Mindanao have benefitted from an unexpected partner that immediately and actively responded to the government’s call to unity: and that is the country’s mining industry, which continues to support countrywide development.
As of this writing, the industry has realigned some Php247 million of its collective Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) funds to provide relief for thousands of Filipinos in and around mining communities and close to 70,000 frontliners across the country.
Prior to the realignment of SDMP to support relief operations, TVIRD’s Agata Mining Ventures Inc. already dispatched various Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) from Manila as part of its immediate response to the needs of medical frontliners in the Mindanao region.
TVI Resource Development Philippines Inc. (TVIRD) has facilities in Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte; Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur; and the adjacent municipalities of Tubay, Jabonga and Santiago in Agusan del Norte Province where its Agata Nickel Project is located.
To date, the TVIRD Group of Companies has shored-up critical PPEs: N95 face masks, face shields and surgical and examinations gloves to support COVID-19 frontliners, including LGUs, volunteers, medical workers, police and civilian volunteers as well as checkpoint personnel.
It likewise sourced majority of its fresh vegetable from farmers and other goods from local establishments to provide relief to more than 10,000 families in its respective areas. The group’s joint relief efforts aim to cushion the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and has reached some 46 barangays consisting of its primary and secondary communities.
Supporting local livelihood
While an estimated one million jobs have been “lost” as a result of the nationwide community quarantine, the challenges of a lockdown are even more pronounced in the hinterlands where a single day of lost livelihood can make or break agricultural and fishing communities who rely on their daily access to the market place.
This is in addition to the challenge of putting food on their own tables for their families everyday.
Agata sought to bridge this need by sourcing organic vegetables from its TESDA-certified Mabakas Farm School and its graduates under the program. Together with its beneficiary farmers, locally-sourced ampalaya (bitter gourd), kalabasa (squash), okra, sitaw (string beans) and eggplants were included in relief packs – which were distributed to 2,647 families in its three host municipalities.
Recipients also included the company’s employees in the mine site and the indigenous Mamanwas who are themselves farmers who would have otherwise faced the risk of spoilage of their produce due to ECQ restrictions on transportation.
Over 11,000 kilos of assorted vegetables were included in more than 5,200 relief and vegetable packs distributed by the company – a testament that its production model under the Mabakas framework is sustainable.
TVIRD likewise rolled-out a weeklong food distribution program and reached-out to almost 7,424 families in the Zamboanga Peninsula. The company’s site personnel and officers sought to alleviate the residents’ difficulties by providing rice, vegetables, canned goods and noodles.
Special attention was also given to the elderly, pregnant women, and persons with disabilities (PWDs) since they are limited to their homes under the GCQ Protocol. Beneficiaries also include nearly 1,400 Subanen families and farmers from Bayog Municipality whose produce are included in the relief packs.
Frontliners in Zamboanga Peninsula
Through its Balabag Office, TVIRD contributed several boxes of PPEs to major government hospitals, rural health units and birthing clinics in the Zamboanga Peninsula region.
Beneficiary institutions include the Zamboanga Sibugay Provincial Hospital, Wilfredo C. Palma Memorial Hospital in Diplahan, Rural Health Units (RHU) in the joint provinces, Zamboanga del Sur Provincial Hospital in Pagadian City, and Siocon District Hospital – which also serves patients from its 26 barangays and nearby Sirawai and Baliguian towns.
“TVIRD backs the government’s campaign against the disease. We are one with the frontliners – and providing them with protection and food is our way of sharing their load,” said TVIRD Balabag Project Manager Engr. Hilario Gingo, Jr.
As the first company to be licensed under the Philippine Mining Law, TVIRD established its presence in the Zamboanga Peninsula some 25 years ago and has since fostered a deep relationship with its communities, especially the Subanon and Subanen tribes. The commercial operations of Agata marks the third consecutive project that TVIRD brought on-stream in a period of 10 years.
Today, TVIRD-Agata has cultivated strong and resilient communities, self-sustaining indigenous hosts tribe and over 1,300 graduates from its Mabakas Organic Farm School who are aligible for TESDA National Certification.
“‘Starting it right and keeping the end in mind’ has guided the company in achieving sustainable operations focused on progressive and final rehabilitation. By providing skills and infrastructure, we endeavour that our communities can sustain themselves beyond the life of the mine,” according to Agata Assistant GM Anthony Quijano.
Philippine Resources - May 30, 2019
Diwata organizes Avengers Endgame movie fundraising, a surprising hit
According to the New York Times, the Avengers: Endgame movie took in $1.2 billion worldwide, arriving as the No. 1 movie in at least 54 countries. It is likely to be the last film with the original - and beloved - Avengers cast. Plenty of people made sure they were there to see it especially on opening night! On April 24, 2019, Diwata - Women in Resource Development, Inc. organized and hosted the block screening of the anticipated action/adventure movie. The objective of the event was to raise funds for the projects of Diwata which includes, but not limited to, its pilot project - Tanging Tanglaw: Turning IP Grandmothers into Solar Engineers.Opening night was held at Greenbelt 1, Cinema 2. The block screening event was made possible thanks to the support of its sponsors: Sycip Gorres & Velayo (SGV), Cruz Marcelo & Tenafrancia (CMT), Fortun Narvasa & Salazar (FNS), Chittick Fire & Security Corporation, Quisumbing Torres, Antrak Philippines Transport Solutions, TVI Resource Development (Phils.) Inc., Uniglobal Industrial Trading, Sandvik Tamrock (Philippines), Inc., Rapid City Realty and Development Corporation, Masbate Gold Project’s Filminera Resources Corporation and Philippine Gold Processing and Refining Corporation. Also in attendance were the following individuals - Diwata Chairwomen Ambassador Delia Domingo-Albert, Diwata Adviser Atty. Leo Dominguez, Diwata President Atty. Joan D. Adaci-Cattiling, and key representatives from the sponsors.Were you there with Diwata during opening night of #AvengersEndgame? How was your experience? For more information on Diwata - Women in Resource Development, Inc.:Email - email@example.comFacebook - https://www.facebook.com/DiwataResourceDevt/ Twitter - https://twitter.com/DiwataResrcDevtInstagram - https://www.instagram.com/diwataresourcedevt/ Website - http://www.diwata.org/
Philippine Resources - March 19, 2019
PHILCONSTRUCT Marks its 29th Year
By Marcelle P. VillegasThe longest-running construction expo in Southeast Asia and the biggest trade show in the Philippines took place last November 8-11 in two venues, namely; SMX Convention Center and the World Trade Center Metro Manila. Now on its 29th year, this trade show for the construction industry welcomed more than 70,000 visitors. This massive expo is organised by the Philippine Construction Association Inc. (PCA). Members of PCA are responsible for more than 80% of the country’s total annual construction projects.Mr Morris Agoncillo, President of PCA states, “These are very exciting times for the industry with the government’s aggressive pursuit of infrastructure development through the Build, Build, Build program as well as the private sector’s drive to produce globally competitive projects, there are plenty of opportunities for both local and international suppliers to grow their business here. Our goal in PCA is to provide a venue where they can easily explore these opportunities and for close to three decades now. PHILCONSTRUCT has been that platform.” Secretary Ramon Lopez of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) led the opening rites for the event. During the 29th PHILCONSTRUCT, the entire parking lot of World Trade Center Metro Manila was converted into an indoor exhibition hall to give space to many new international exhibitors. This is approximately an additional 3,000 square meters of indoor space, according to Mr Gerardo Pancho who is the 1st Vice President of the Philippine Constructors Association and the Overall Chairman of last year’s PHILCONSTRUCT. Since 2013 when PHILCONSTRUCT started its expansion, the event has generated a steady growth and demand for exhibit space from local and international suppliers. In the latest expanded exhibit, PHILCONSTRUCT featured building materials, construction equipment, fixtures, finishing solutions, and other related construction services from 23 countries. Participating countries include China, the European Union, Germany, Italy, India, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Vietnam, and the United States. Over 1,500 companies participated in the event. PHILCONSTRUCT 2018 was presented by Pacific Paint (BOYSEN) Philippines, Inc. with major sponsors Civic Merchandising, Inc., CW Home Depot, Hyundai Asia Resources Inc., and QSJ Motor Philippine. The show sponsors are Caltex/ Chevron Philippines, Co Ban Kiat Hardware, and Isuzu Philippines.Mr Pancho mentioned that the event is a great venue for stakeholders from both the government and the private sector. From here, we can determine how these products and technologies from other countries can help improve and strengthen the country’s various structures and infrastructures. He said, “We expect this synergy between these stakeholders to help bring the practice of construction here in the Philippines to the next level.”The event also presented various technical lectures for engineers and engineering students. For instance, at SMX Convention Center, Mr Jun Perez conducted a lecture on Basic HVAC Seminar during the HVAC/R Philippine Technoforum 2018. In his lecture, he shared much of his vast experience in smart techniques in building designs and air con installation from his previous projects in Guam for the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy. The seminar was sponsored by Concepcion Midea Inc. Two meeting rooms for the seminar were filled with attendees who are engineering students and engineers.Within the exhibit ground in SMX Convention Center, many companies offered free technical lectures by experts like Engr. Jhon Carlo Rojo, Technical Support Engineer of Daikin Airconditioning Philippines Inc. His lecture emphasized the importance of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). He mentioned that we breathe 28,800 times a day and 90% of the time, most of us are indoors. With that, IAQ has an impact on our health, work performance and quality of living. For almost 90 years, Daikin of Japan has been the leader in air con and air filter technology.
Philippine Resources - May 30, 2019
AIA Celebrates 20 Years of Leadership in the Auction Industry
This year, Asia International Auctioneers, Inc. (AIA) marks its 20th year in the auction industry. To commemorate its anniversary, AIA organized a remarkable lineup of events, which include the groundbreaking of its new remanufacturing facility, recognition events for VIPs, Top Buyers, Consignors and Employees, and planting of 20,000 mangroves in Bataan.As the country's biggest and fastest growing trucks and equipment auctioneer, AIA has sold over 130,000 units and served about 58,000 satisfied customers in its 86 successful auctions since 1999. Today, it continues to deliver exceptional value by providing the highest quality trucks and equipment to various industries nationwide.AIA 20 Years BackAIA's story began in 1996 when its founders, who had prior auction experience in Japan, recognized the unique potential of establishing the very first proudly Filipino-Japanese owned auction company in the Philippines. At the time, the economy was unstable due to the Asian Financial Crisis. While others cast doubt on the viability of conducting auctions amid the bleak business climate, AIA’s founders took a great leap of faith and worked vigorously for the materialization of AIA, the premier and pioneer trucks and equipment auctioneer in the Philippines.Since then, auctions have increased popularity with AIA at the forefront. The company’s first auction in Subic Bay was held in 1999 with only around a thousand units available. 20 years later, AIA has grown exponentially and is now auctioning off over 12,000 items per year.AIA Breaks Ground on its New Remanufacturing FacilityTo kick-start AIA's 20th-anniversary celebrations, the company held the official groundbreaking of its remanufacturing facility in Subic Bay on March 15, 2019.The project marks another milestone for AIA as it will vastly transform the company's remanufacturing operations and quality control procedures. It will include a modernized and advanced assembly line incorporating AIA's No Cut, No Weld, No Bend Conversion Technology System using brand new and original left-hand drive parts. It will also be equipped with highly developed facilities for comprehensive and systematic quality control.With this major development, AIA will continue to fulfill its customers' evolving needs by offering only the best quality and widest selection of units at competitive and affordable prices.AIA Hosts VIP Appreciation Night for its Top BuyersAs a way of showing gratitude for their continued patronage, AIA brought together its VIP and top buyers on April 25 at Segara Villas in Subic Bay for an evening of celebration, special gifts, grand prizes, dinner and entertainment.The highlight of the night was the recognition and presentation of awards to AIA's top buyers. One of the awardees, Philipp Po of Leyte United Trading, said he has seen how AIA grew since he first joined its auctions in 2000."There are a lot of small and medium enterprises that have been established because of AIA. For my family, our trucking business started with AIA and has grown in consonance with our requirements, which we have also sourced from AIA. I believe that AIA will be here for the next generation and beyond, and I can attest their leadership in the auction industry," Po said.AIA COO Paulo Armamento shared that on top of these special events, AIA honors their customers and values their trust by providing them with high standard trucks and equipment."We are proud to say that AIA has not only become the largest and leading auctioneer in the country, we also became the benchmark that stimulated a safer trucking and transportation system by raising the standards for used trucks in the market," Armamento said.He concluded the event by reaffirming the company's commitment to work harder in delivering its promise of quality and reliability. AIA Consignors Tee Up for Golf and Awards DayTo honor its consignors who have been with the company throughout the years, AIA hosted a Golf and Awards Day on April 28 at Anvaya Cove Golf and Sports Club. Plaques of appreciation and tokens were given away during the awarding ceremony.AIA's consignors always go above and beyond in exporting the highest quality trucks and equipment directly from Japan. The company's premium range of products is meticulously screened so that only the best-of-class units are included in the auction lineup. Because of its consignors, AIA could showcase the most comprehensive array of light, medium, and heavy-duty units from the top brands such as Isuzu, Fuso, Hino, Caterpillar, Komatsu, Hitachi, Kobelco, and Tadano among many others.AIA holds 20th Anniversary Employee Recognition and Thanksgiving NightAIA's 20 years of leadership in the auction industry can be attributed to the men and women who constantly provide excellent service to AIA's customers. Thus, the company recognized its personnel at its Employee Recognition and Thanksgiving Night on May 15.A total of 78 employees who have worked with the company for ten, fifteen, and twenty years were given Meritorious Service and Loyalty awards. AIA plants 20,000 mangroves for its 20 fruitful yearsAs a way of giving back for AIA's 20 fruitful years in the auction industry, the company planted 20,000 mangrove propagules in a 10-hectare coast at Abucay, Bataan on May 17 in cooperation with DENR and the SBMA Ecology Center. 165 volunteers took part in the program.AIA initially started its biodiversity conservation and mangrove reforestation programs in 2015.AIA took on the responsibility of caring for a total of 15 hectares of protected sites and had since planted around 25,000 mangroves in various areas. “We specially picked Mangrove Planting as the core activity of our CSR programs because of its environmental significance. Mangroves are powerhouses when it comes to carbon storage.Studies indicate that mangroves can sequester four times more carbon than rainforests. This is so relevant to our industry for ways we all know. Unlike other one-day tree planting activities, ours is a continuing activity as we will see to it that the mangroves will survive and serve its purpose,” said AIA General Manager Atty. Ma. Leonora Tabladillo.Join AIA's 4-Day Trucks and Equipment Auction on June 19, 20, 21 and 22AIA will continue to celebrate its anniversary with more events and activities in store for its customers. Watch out for AIA's upcoming four-day auction on June 19, 20, 21 and 22! Inspect and select from a wide variety of over 2,300 trucks and equipment as it opens its gates on June 16, 17 and 18 and join AIA’s Auction Fair for more surprises.For more information about AIA’s auctions, contact them at (047)-252-3333 or visit www.aia-auction.com.
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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.