Imelda Residents: Help Came When We Needed It Most
by Philippine Resources - June 30, 2021
A helping hand. TVIRD’s Community Relations team led by Khalil Tabernero distributed food packs to Imelda Town’s flood victims who were lining-up alongside the company’s service vehicle. Physical distancing was strictly implemented in the queues while some food packs were delivered directly to households by the team.
“It was a touching gesture. The assistance provided to us came when we needed it most. Thank you so much, TVIRD,” said Imelda Town residents who were provided with food packs by TVI Resource Development Philippines Inc. (TVIRD). The assistance came after the devastating storm battered the town and hit Barangay Poblacion the hardest.
Danny Gamil, leader of a barangay purok (a subset of a barangay) and neighbor Nolyn G. Palme said the arrival of the food packs helped their families survive for days after Storm Crising brought heavy flooding.
Gamil is one of the town’s earliest settlers. He said all the residents of his purok and others of this barangay received the food packs delivered by the company’s Community Relations personnel who were led by Khalil Pope Tabernero. The company’s efforts provided immediate relief to an estimated 400 families in the municipality.
Earlier, TVIRD provided assistance to some 250 families from Barangays Dimalinao, Kahayagan and Dipili directly after Crising battered these barangays with strong floods and extraordinary rainfall. PAGASA warned of “isolated to scattered flooding, including flash floods and rain-induced landslides” in vulnerable areas.
Specifically for Zamboanga del Sur, this is not the first time that a natural disaster of this magnitude brought savage destruction to homes and farmlands.
A touching gesture
“I was really touched, seeing all those goods delivered to us by TVIRD. Its arrival comforted us, made us see the goodness of men,” said Palme, 29-year old wife of a fish vendor and mother of three. She said that their family had no income for days and that she and her husband have been clearing their house of debris after it was submerged by flood water.
“Everything was washed away by the flood. We only salvaged our TV set and a cooking utensil. We are hard-up and do not have income. Adding to our misery was the lockdown imposed on us again – we cannot even go out. But thanks to TVIRD’s food packs, which sustained us for several days,” Palme said.
Farmer and tricycle driver Gerson F. Bacleta, said TVIRD’s help was unexpected, especially since Imelda is located almost 50 kilometers from TVIRD’s facilities in Bayog Municipality, Zamboanga del Sur Province.
“We did not expect it, but I am grateful because the assistance helped feed my family for three days. It was the only assistance that we received after the storm,” he said. “Sadly, my rice land is buried with mud and can no longer be salvaged,” Bacleta shared. He would have harvested about a month after the storm.
Gamil said the May 14 flood was “devastating.” However, he also refuted reports that it was the first time Imelda town experienced this kind of flooding.
“Hesus, 47 anyos na ko. Dili lang kay kini ang baha nga nakahatag ug daku nga kadaut sa among lungsod. May mga baha kaniadto nga nalunopan pod ang mga balay (Jesus! I am 47 years old already. This is not the only flood that brought so much destruction to our town. There were floods before that also submerged houses here),” he said.
Imelda is a fourth-class municipality situated along Sibugay River, which is considered the longest body of water in Sibugay Province. During the May 14 flooding, a huge volume of water from the river found its way to Imelda and other towns of the province.
Philippine Resources - June 30, 2021
One Year Hence: Communities are at the Heart of Agata COVID-19 Initiatives
Photo Credit: TVI Resources - Agusan del Norte PDRRMC receives COVID-19 Kits that include rubber boots, alcohol, face shields, face masks, gloves, and water supplies. It has been more than a year ago since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 as global pandemic. This deadly virus triggered devastating economic and social disruption as it shuttered business establishments and affected millions with death and disease. By the end of the first quarter in 2020, the Philippines was likewise left vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19. In active response to the needs of the community, Agata Mining Ventures Inc. remained committed more than ever to serving its stakeholders by rolling-out projects that aimed to mitigate the negative impacts of the pandemic. COVID-19 initiatives At the onset of the pandemic, the company distributed various Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) from Manila as part of its immediate response to the needs of medical frontliners in the Mindanao region. Along with mother company, TVI Resource Development Philippines Inc. (TVIRD), Agata distributed critical PPEs: N95 face masks, face shields and surgical and examination gloves to protect frontliners, including local government personnel, medical workers, police, civilian volunteers and checkpoint personnel. It also provided relief to more than 10,000 families in its respective areas and sourced majority of its fresh vegetables from farmers and other goods from local establishments. The company’s initiative did not only address food shortage but also provided a source of income for local producers. Aside from directly supporting the livelihood of farmers and fisherfolks, Agata also aided its communities by capacitating its people with new skills. The company’s Mabakas Techno Demo Farm provided scholarships and trainings for the locals, bringing its total number of scholars since 2018 to almost 4,000. The National Certificate courses at Mabakas are funded by the company’s Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) funds and conducted in partnership with the country’s Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). These courses also aim to help the graduates obtain alternative livelihood and tap economic opportunities despite the pandemic. Agata extended additional assistance to displaced students by providing school equipment to enable them to study from home. The company distributed heavy-duty photocopiers and paper supplies to partners Barangay Tinigbasan National High School and Elementary School, Barangay Lawigan Elementary School and Kauswagan De Oro Elementary School in Barangay E. Morgado. A reliable partner Today, Agata continues to performs its role in building communities as it creates employment opportunities for the general welfare of its stakeholders. During the pandemic, the company recruited a total of 78 new personnel – majority of whom are from Caraga. “I am thankful that despite COVID-19 I am able to get a new job. I know it is not easy to be employed, given our situation now,” stated Precious Erap, resident of Butuan – a newly-hired purchaser at Agata. Dareem Angob, a resident of Santiago Municipality of this province, expressed that her ‘acquired knowledge’ from the Mabakas Organic Farming course, which she took during the pandemic, is very useful and that she now has a vegetable garden right at her doorstep. Agata likewise promotes organic backyard gardening as an alternative source of food and income during the lockdown. It also conducts regular information and education campaigns on COVID-19 to keep the communities abreast of health protocols. Driven by its philosophy of “Starting it right, keeping the end in mind,” Agata continues to operate responsibly throughout the pandemic while ensuring the integrity of both the community and its natural environment. It also continues to create new innovations that conserve natural resources as well as pave the way for the people’s progress – all for a sustainable future.
Philippine Resources - August 31, 2021
From Educators to Licensed Professionals: TVIRD Scholars Make Waves in Their Chosen Fields
Photo Caption: Our future. Children study and play at the Canatuan Elementary and National High School – an institution that TVIRD helped build during its operations in the area from 2004-2014, and from which time the company has been the host municipality’s strongest partner in promoting responsive education. (TVIRD file photo) Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte / July 2021 – She knows what it is to be poor at a young age, being born to poor parents and raised by a single mother who died while she was in her primary years. The harrowing experience of being bullied because of poverty made Joanamarie Gabayan vow to have a stable job in the future. At 19, she fulfilled her promise to herself and joined the academe where a decent, fulfilling and stable job as a professional teacher awaited her. Joanamarie, “Joan” to family and friends, earned her degree in elementary education in 2015. She took and passed the professional board examination for teachers then and landed a teaching job the following year – thanks to the scholarship program of TVI Resource Development Philippines Inc. (TVIRD) in Canatuan. Now 25 years old and already married, Joan is currently teaching the Subanon children at Barangay Tabayo Elementary School of this town. Assigned as an Indigenous People Education (IPEd) teacher by the Department of Education (DepEd), she instructs her pupils on basic education that is responsive to their context, respects their identities and promotes the values of their indigenous knowledge, skills and other aspects of their cultural heritage – all in line with DepEd Order 50 series of 2016. Looking back at her humble beginning, Joan said she is forever grateful to the company that helped her realize her dream. “I could not have reached this far without TVIRD,” she said. Giving back Police Corporal Rasul Agang, also a former scholar of the company agrees with her. A graduate of BS in Criminology at a state university in Siocon town, Corporal Agang is now proudly serving his “kababayans” as a member of the Siocon Police Station. At 27, Rasul said he “walks the talk” of the PNP Motto which is to “Serve and protect.” A son of a fisherman, Rasul shared that ever since he was young, he wanted to become a police officer. “That was my dream, and I was able to achieve it through the help of the company. I am always proud of being a scholar and part of the TVIRD family, knowing that it is a responsible mining company,” he said. Rasul cited TVIRD’s ongoing final mine rehabilitation in Canatuan, which started in 2016. The program consists of “re-greening” and restoring the company’s former mine site to its former condition and covers all disturbed areas during its 10-year mining operations from 2004. Equally thankful is geologist-scholar Ryan Lumabi, also a Subanon from Sitio Canatuan. Ryan currently works as a project geologist at Premium Megastructures Inc. in Misamis Oriental. “I just want to say thank you very much to TVIRD for making my dream possible. It really was impossible for me to reach my dream given that we were poor. But (they) gave me the opportunity to study and graduate as well as assisted me financially while taking the board examinations,” he said. Investing in education “TVIRD believes that education plays a vital role in empowering its Subanon partners; hence, the company must invest on it,” according to TVIRD President Yulo Perez who was then Canatuan General Manager who institutionalized the company’s College Scholarship Program in early 2005. According to him the program seeks to provide the poor but deserving Subanons with access to education so they will be able to help the tribe’s elders in managing the development of their homeland – all according to their needs and outlook, and within their cultural and traditional framework. Also included in the grant were underprivileged but deserving non-tribal scholars residing within the immediate community and the host municipality of Siocon. From 2004 to 2020, TVIRD spent more than Php11-million pesos for its scholarship program. The amount is on top of the construction cost of the first school buildings and library of Canatuan Elementary and National High School as well as the salaries of both school’s first four school teachers. TVIRD also provided school buses for the pupils and students of both schools. The first bus could accommodate 48 passengers and ferried the children as far as Sitio Kilometer 8, a sub-village of Kilalaban of the neighboring town of Baliguian, and Sitio Paduan of Barangay Candiz in Siocon town. When TVIRD concluded its Canatuan operations in 2014, it also produced professional teachers, nurses, midwives, civil engineers, agriculturists, geologists, an environmental engineer, a forester and a member of the Philippine Navy. Geologist Ryan Lumabi mentioned earlier that the education provided to him by the company gave him the fighting chance to reach his dream. “Mining may cease, and TVIRD may eventually leave Canatuan. But the education it provided will live on in the hearts of its scholars whose lives were touched and changed for the better,” he concluded.
Philippine Resources - October 01, 2021
TVIRD Balabag Gold and Silver Project Achieves First Gold Production
TVI Pacific Inc. is pleased to announce that gold production has commenced at the Balabag gold and silver project ("Balabag"). Balabag is owned 100% by TVI Resource Development Phils., Inc. ("TVIRD"), a Philippines corporation in which TVI holds a 30.66% interest, and is located in Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines. First Gold Production at Balabag Gold-Silver Project : TVIRD has confirmed that Balabag mill plant availability month-to-date has been 90% and that it is currently processing at a month-to-date average rate of 936 tpd. The first shipment in the amount of 855 kilograms ("kg") of gold doré has been delivered to the designated refinery and contains 932 ounces of Au and 25,959 ounces of Ag for 1,263 gold equivalent ounces. Gross proceeds from the first shipment are US $2.2 million. Activities at site continue to be concentrated on optimizing the operation and the ramping-up of throughput to 2,000 tpd. The average head grade month-to-date has been 1.6 g/t Au and 79.0 g/t Ag while the average recoveries month-to-date have been 95% for Au and 86% for Ag. The plant is currently being fed from the run of mine ("ROM") mineralized stockpile. An approximate 86,500 tonnes of mineralized material is now on the ROM mineralized stockpile, in-pit stockpile and crushed mineralized stockpile, much of which is low to marginal grade and was mined to expose the higher-grade mineralized resource during waste stripping and bench forming. The stockpiles have an average grade of 1.1 g/t gold and 39.7 g/t silver. It is expected that the average grade of feed will increase in the coming weeks as higher-grade mineralized resource is mined. Twenty-four-hour operation of the plant was introduced in late August. TVIRD is continuing to pursue its growth strategy with ongoing exploration drilling at Balabag. As announced in the Company's news release of August 4, 2021, five (5) drill rigs are actively working through TVIRD's Phase 5B drilling program through which twenty-seven (27) holes are expected to be drilled with an estimated meterage of 4,155 meters. The Phase 5B drilling program together with assays and reporting is currently expected to be completed in Q4 2021. "We are proud of the Balabag project and operating teams for completing construction activities through a global pandemic and achieving a successful ramp-up to first gold pour and shipment. I want to take this opportunity to commend our team's commitment and hard work in achieving this major growth milestone for both TVIRD and TVI Pacific", said Mr. Cliff James, Chairman and CEO of TVI and Chairman of TVIRD, "This is the culmination of a long journey that started many years ago that has faced many challenges but the determination of our team to bring Balabag to reality has endured and has now created the potential to generate significant benefit for all stakeholders. We are happy to share notice of this achievement with our shareholders."
Philippine Resources - December 01, 2021
A grand slam in responsible mining
Photo credit: Hinatuan Mining A grand slam win for a mining company simply means being the best in class in its responsible conduct of business; in its forest management and environment enhancement and protection; its social responsibility programs and in providing safety in the workplace and the communities. Hinatuan Mining Corp. (HMC), a subsidiary of Nickel Asia Corp. (NAC) sweeps major honors this year from the country’s most prestigious award-giving body in the mining industry – the Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Award (PMIEA). “It’s our first time and it’s a grand slam! We still can’t believe it but that these awards were accorded to us during this most difficult time of the pandemic, makes this moment doubly exulting, everyone was emotional when the news first broke, this is the reason for our existence, says Engr. Francis Arañes, HMC’s Resident Mine Manager. HMC, with operations in Hinatuan Island, Tagana-an, Surigao del Norte, takes home the Presidential award for surface mining operations; the Best Mining Forest in the Metallic category; the winner of the Safest Surface Mining Operations; and the winner of the Safest Mining Operation; plus, the individual awards of Best Surface Safety Inspector and Best Surface Miner accorded to HMC’s employees, Aldrin L. Resullar and Jennifer Q. Inting, respectively. The PMIEA is the highest accolade awarded to a mining company. The evaluation and assessment for this year’s awardees encountered extra challenges with the threats of COVID-19 in the backdrop where movements were limited, the economy threatened, operations delayed, and bringing services to the communities were among the biggest challenge to the company’s community workers. HMC had set its eyes on these awards for years. The company remains steadfast, focusing on specific goals that the award giving body monitors and measures, such as the actual number of hectares to be rehabilitated as mandated by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), even going outside of their areas of responsibility in supporting the Philippine National Greening Program (NGP); building a robust forest within the mine site, highlighting eco-tourism programs; setting up its host and neighboring communities to sustainable economic development programs; among other things. And to ensure that compliance is above and beyond its mandate, HMC underscores the efficiency of reporting, of transparency, giving importance to its Information, Education and Communication (IEC) programs. “The bar in honoring mining companies has been set even higher, what with the added focus on the principles of ESG – Environment, Social and Governance – in the midst of ongoing debates about climate change,” says Engr. Aloysius C. Diaz, NAC SVP and Head of Production. Diaz says the miners, HMC in particular, are now even more cognizant of peer reviews because the world has become more critical in holding the industry accountable for a greener, healthier, and safer future. PMIEA evaluates all facets of a mining company’s responsible and sustainable business practices, keenly focusing on environmental protection and management; and ensuring the health and safety of employees and the total wellbeing of the people in the communities that they serve. The Hinatuan mine site, also known as the “Tagana-an Nickel Project”, is located in Hinatuan Island, Barangay Talavera, municipality of Tagana-an, province of Surigao del Norte. Its area of operations is within the Surigao Mineral Reservation.
Philippine Resources - December 01, 2021
Nuclear, solar eyed as alternatives to PH energy mix
Photo: Bataan nuclear power plant Senator Sherwin Gatchalian is considering nuclear and solar energy as a possible alternative or additional sources of energy in the country. Gatchalian, Senate energy committee chairman, said he favors “in principle” smaller nuclear reactors instead of the bigger ones for flexibility and safety. “Small ones are more flexible and safer. Safer in the sense that it is smaller, deployable, and has the technology that can use nuclear wastes. Of course, it is still in the development stage,” he said in a radio interview on Monday. He said small nuclear reactors can produce energy from 10 to 150 megawatts. Gatchalian, however, does not consider reviving the Bataan nuclear power plant as it will be too risky and too costly to rehabilitate the facility. He said many are also using solar energy with some big companies putting up solar power plants. “I believe it could be part of the energy transition because nuclear is emission-free but the risk is where to put the wastes and if it encounters a problem, the cost is too high. Solar deployment is still a challenge because it is still quite expensive,” he added. Gatchalian said he will file a bill on energy transition following the Department of Energy’s (DOE) move last year banning new coal power plants to accelerate the country’s shift to cleaner energy. “We cannot hasten the energy transition because we will have no source of energy… The energy transition can be 10 years or longer but the important thing is it’s a scientific process to determine how we can transition out of fossil fuel into renewable safely, reliably, and securely,” he said. He added that right now, the country’s energy needs are still good with fossil fuel but it is imperative to jumpstart the transition due to the increasing population and industries. Gatchalian was here on Sunday to turn over his donation of 5,000 sets of personal protective equipment and 50 sacks of slippers to the Region 1 Medical Center. By Hilda Austria Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
Philippine Resources - December 01, 2021
Gas drilling in Recto Bank should push through: Pimentel
Photo credit: Inkl The chair of the House Strategic Intelligence Committee on Tuesday said oil drilling activities in Recto Bank must proceed as scheduled amid rising tensions with China. Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel said the Sampaguita gas field could yield up to USD18.2 billion, or around PHP910 billion, in future royalties for the government, based on a 60 percent net share. “We have no choice but to carry on with the drilling activities because the Sampaguita gas discovery in Recto Bank has the potential to energize the entire national grid – not just Luzon – for the next 20 to 30 years,” Pimentel said. Pimentel said Sampaguita is “an untapped value-changing asset” that would be valuable to the country’s future energy security with up to 4.6 trillion cubic feet of gas, while Malampaya, which has been producing gas for the last 20 years, has only 1.6 trillion cubic feet of residual gas at best. “There is even one study suggesting that the entire Recto Bank has up to 20 trillion cubic feet of potential gas in place,” Pimentel said. The Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague ruled in July 2016 that Recto Bank is within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, as defined under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea. By virtue of the ruling, Pimentel said the Philippines enjoys absolute rights to exploit all resources in the seamount. Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency