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Philippine Resources - January 21, 2021

TVIRD-Agata COVID-19 Response Brings Relief to 10,000 Families, Livelihood to Rural Farmers

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.Immediate responsePrior 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 livelihoodWhile 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 PeninsulaThrough 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.

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Philippine Resources - January 21, 2021

Taganito Mining Donates 7k Workbooks for Surigao Del Norte

As part of its commitment to support the education sector, Nickel Asia Corporation subsidiary, Taganito Mining Corporation, donated 7,172 workbooks to the provincial government of Surigao del Norte, in time for the opening of classes. The Php 2 million worth set of English and Mathematics workbooks is part of the company's Social Development and Management Program. The turnover of workbooks was led by TMC Resident Mine Manager Artemio Valeroso in the presence of Governor Francisco Matugas and Dr. Nelia Lomocso, the schools division superintendent of the Department of Education for Siargao, Surigao del Norte Division. In a certificate signed by Gov. Matugas, he thanked TMC “for the wholehearted support in the various undertakings of the Provincial Government which has been instrumental in the success of the Education Caravan School Year 2020-2021”.“NAC-TMC is one with the province of Surigao del Norte in helping our schools become ‘back-to-school ready,” said Valeroso“We are very happy and very thankful. We sincerely thank the Taganito Mining Corporation for this great donation. This will go a long way. The workbooks will be for the benefit of our learners in the island paradise of Siargao,” Lomocso said. Since 2015, TMC has been a partner of the province in the annual Education Caravan wherein various educational supplies such as books, bags, and health kits were distributed to students in Surigao del Norte as well as Siargao island.

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Philippine Resources - January 21, 2021

Washing Worries Away with TMC’s Hand Washing Facilities

The threat of the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed schools all over the country to implement measures to reduce the risk of contracting the virus among students, teachers, parents and the community as a whole. In solidarity with this effort, Taganito Mining Corporation (TMC) volunteered to provide hand washing facilities to 29 schools within Claver, Gigaquit and Surigao City as part of its Social Development and Management Program.A total of 52 hand washing units were distributed to public elementary and high schools to support efforts to encourage frequent hand washing as a way to protect oneself from the COVID-19 virus. Rendering support during the yearly opening of classes has been an annual commitment of TMC to the education sector. While schools have turned to online and modular learning modes, teachers still have to report to school and parents need to pick up and submit accomplished modules of their children. Thus, as with other establishments, schools are required to install hand washing facilities at their entry points.Aside from donating to schools, TMC also gave out hand washing facilities to the local government units of the Municipality of Bacuag, barangays Binacoran and Villa Riza in Municipality of Malimono, and the Philippine Red Cross - Surigao del Norte Chapter.“They say, friendship is essentially a partnership…Thank you so much NAC- Taganito Mining Corp. For these two sets of Portable hand washing facility […] Quezon ES will be forever grateful to you.” – Ms. Maricar Tabacon Lisondra, teacher, Quezon Elementary School“Panatao Elementary School teaching staff, parents, and learners would like to thank Taganito Mining Corporation for the Improvised hand washing facility given to the school. Thank you so much for your continuous and never-ending support to our school.” - Ms. Judith S. Pere, Principal, Panatao Elementary School“Thank you so much Taganito Mining Corporation for sharing another blessing to Claver National High School. We, faculty and staff, learners and parents, are so grateful for your generosity.” - Rodelio Cortez, teacher, Claver National High School

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Philippine Resources - January 21, 2021

Filminera and PhilGold Donate Over Php 6 Million to Earthquake Victims

MGP’s Administration Manager Jean Gonzales and Community Relations Superintendent Rey Carlo Belgica turn-over of check to Mayor Felipe Cabatana and Vice Mayor Thelma Ang and Sangguniang Bayan Members of the Municipality of Cataingan.Filminera Resources Corporation (Filminera) and Phil Gold Processing & Refining Corp. (PGPRC) turned over a total of Php 6 million in earthquake relief financial assistance as well as 100 sacks of rice and 50 folding beds to officers of the local government of the Municipality of Cataingan. The Php 5 Million donation was received by Mayor Felipe Cabatana in the presence of Vice-Mayor Thelma Ang and members of the Sangguniang Bayan. The total combined earthquake relief from Filminera and PGPRC to the Municipality of Cataingan is equivalent to Php 6,283,100. This includes Php 1 Million to assist Cataingan Hospital repair and supplies needed to assist the communities and households that were severely affected by the earthquake.Cataingan is the town hardest-hit by the 6.6 earthquake last August 18, 2020 which shook the province of Masbate. The earthquake had an epicenter located 7 kilometers off Cataingan with a depth of 21 kilometers. Cataingan is 150 kilometers away from the Filminera mine site in Aroroy.The trucks containing the 100 sacks of rice and 50 folding beds with MGP’s Administration Manager Jean Gonzales and Community Relations Superintendent Rey Carlo Belgica.A team from Filminera and PGPRC, together with the Municipal Engineer and the Municipal Administrator, also joined Mayor Cabatana in the ocular inspection of damaged public structures in the municipality. In a separate event last August, an inspection was conducted at the mine site in Aroroy, Masbate by a team of experts from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) during the weekend. At the exit conference attended by the community stakeholders, the local government units, and Filminera and PGPRC representatives, MGB and DENR reported that their inspection showed there were neither damages nor injuries within the mine site.The management of Filminera and PGPRC temporarily stopped mining August 21 to give way to the inspection team and resumed normal operations August 27. Filminera President Cris Acosta said that the results of the inspection confirmed the initial result sent to the MGB regional office right after the August 18 earthquake that there was no damage to the structures and equipment at the mine site. Filminera’s initial inspection was conducted by in-house technical experts and third-party consultant GHD, which is a reputable international technical consultant.GHD has been an advisor of the Masbate Gold Project since 2007 and continues to be a part of the mine’s expansion to this date. GHD was initially engaged to carry out the detailed design of the Tailings Storage Facility (TSF). They continue to provide detailed design and construction supervision services of the TSF development. They also provide geotechnical assessments, deposition modelling, embankment design and analysis, mine site water balance modelling and design of the water treatment plant.

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Philippine Resources - December 16, 2020

How to Overcome “Pandemic Fatigue”

By: Dr Carrianne Ewe, Medical Director, International SOS PhilippinesThe Philippines is approaching its eight-month into the COVID-19 lockdown that began in March. While it feels that we have made it through the more restrictive Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) to General Community Quarantine (GCQ), it is important to note that this ‘unseen enemy’ is likely to be around for some time.We have adapted to our situation by the wearing of masks and face shields, limiting social gatherings and finding creative ways to connect with others in order to keep safe during this time. It is important to acknowledge that others may be finding this part of the pandemic much harder than the initial stages and may be experiencing “pandemic fatigue”.Pandemic fatigue, as defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO), is a natural expected reaction to sustained and unresolved adversity in people’s lives. It expresses itself as demotivation to engage in protective behaviours and to seek out information, as well as in feelings of complacency, alienation and hopelessness. The institution argues that this evolves gradually over time and is affected by the cultural, social, structural and legislative environment.The uncertainty of how long the pandemic will last and the struggle to remain resilient is a common sentiment experienced by many at this time. “Pandemic fatigue” can affect one’s mental health and motivation to adhere to protective measures and increase risky behaviours. Supporting the workforce’s mental health and wellbeing has been a key concern for many employers in addition to the response to this public health crisis. It is widely acknowledged that an employee’s job performance and productivity can be severely affected by health issues and impact an organizations’ business resilience.Addressing “pandemic fatigue”Occupational Psychologist, Dr. Rachael Lewis from Birkbeck University, London has observed that while many countries have passed the “peak” of the pandemic, people have not recovered from the “pain” of the whole experience. She shared that many employees at this time may be experiencing higher levels of irritation and frustration with others than during the initial lockdown period. In the Philippines, while the “peak” of the pandemic is yet to be determined, many employees can relate to these heightened emotions and behavioural changes. Employees had to adapt quickly to a new environment, shifting gears to work from home where communications and logistics infrastructure are not always conducive to productivity. Those who reported to work had to navigate a very limited transportation network at exorbitant prices, further adding to the stress of the situation. The Philippines National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) revealed a significant increase in monthly hotline calls regarding depression. Numbers rose from 80 calls pre-lockdown to nearly 400 calls as documented in an article by the WHO.Many are also worried about losing their jobs due to employee layoffs, pay cuts and closure of businesses. Employers have had to step up efforts in an unprecedented manner to support the workforce in a holistic manner.It is critical for business leaders and employees to adopt a shared responsibility to address these challenges and ensure that the workforce stays flexible and resilient through the pandemic and beyond. Facing the challenges of “pandemic fatigue” and building workforce resilienceOrganisations who value their employees need to build a holistic workforce resilience programme where an employee’s health, safety and wellbeing are prioritised. International SOS has been working closely with clients throughout the year from the Taal Volcano eruption to the current COVID-19 pandemic. We have provided holistic workforce resilience solutions with tailored advice for the safe return to operations, navigation of the complex COVID-19 testing environment and mental health & wellness programmes.We have developed a range of tools like the COVID-19 website which is accessible to the public. Our International SOS Assistance App provides clients with the latest health and security situational updates in each country and is available round the clock. Our Medical & Security Directors have led webinars on practical measures and organizational best practices to tackle the ever-evolving challenges faced in this pandemic. During the early stages of lockdown, we supported an international offshore client to ensure that their 26 employees based in the Philippines were fit to work and COVID-free before embarking on a vessel.Our Manila Assistance Centre coordinated the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing and medical support with a dedicated medic to ensure 24-hour care and attention to the crew. Counselling and medical direction was provided when 7 crew members tested positive. They were fully supported until local health authorities were able to advise next steps.Clients in the high tech and financial industries have been helped to implement sustainable, medically led support systems for their entire workforce. This involved providing managers with regular situation updates, employee webinars on health topics and proactive outreach to employees of concern, especially those in quarantine or unwell at home.“Pandemic fatigue” caused by various concerns affecting our personal and professional lives can be overcome with the right support structure in place. It is more important than ever before to acknowledge that successful business continuity is enabled by a healthy and resilient workforce. Organisations are increasingly seeing the value of implementing a holistic workforce resilience programme that provides access to 24/7 health, safety and psychological support. This contributes to the stability and resilience of employees in these dynamic times, enabling them to remain productive and creative.Simple steps to address “pandemic fatigue”: 1. Accepting negative emotionsBeing honest about pent-up emotions like anxiety and uncertainty opens one up to find ways to address these reactions effectively. 2. Creating new goals Setting achievable and enjoyable personal goals such as exercise or learning a new skill can give a positive sense of accomplishment. 3. Conserving emotional resources Employees should take time out from work to prioritise self-care. Small breaks even if just to relax at home or spend time with loved ones is beneficial. Managers need to lead by example and encourage a delineation of on and off duty schedules.4. Being kind to themselves Employees should recognise that it is okay to have both good and bad days. Instead of focusing on the negatives, acknowledge and celebrate achievements. 5. Asking for help Almost everyone has experienced some level of stress during this period. Seek support from mental health professionals via the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) or clinic and recognize the benefits of reaching out early before burn out.AuthorDr Carrianne EweMedical Director, International SOS PhilippinesDr Carrianne Ewe is the Medical Director of International SOS Philippines where she oversees Medical Services and Health Consulting projects. She works closely with the Manila Assistance Centre to address the medical concerns of clients and their employees as they navigate the complex COVID-19 environment.About the International SOS Group of CompaniesThe International SOS Group of Companies is in the business of saving lives, protecting your global workforce from health and security threats. Wherever you are, we deliver customised health, security risk management and wellbeing solutions to fuel your growth and productivity. In the event of extreme weather, an epidemic or a security incident, we provide an immediate response providing peace of mind. Our innovative technology and medical and security expertise focus on prevention, offering real-time, actionable insights and on-the-ground quality delivery. We help you meet compliance reporting needs for good governance. By partnering with us, organisations can fulfil their Duty of Care responsibilities, while empowering business resilience, continuity and sustainability.Founded in 1985, the International SOS Group is trusted by 12,000 organisations, including the majority of the Fortune Global 500, multi-national corporate clients and mid-size enterprises, governments, educational institutions and NGOs. 10,000 multi-cultural medical, security and logistics experts stand with you to provide support & assistance from over 1,000 locations in 85 countries, 24/7, 365 days. To protect your workforce, we are at your fingertips: www.internationalsos.com

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Philippine Resources - December 16, 2020

NAC-HMC Provides Rice to Tagana-an and Host Communities

Nickel Asia Corp. - Hinatuan Mining Corp. (NAC-HMC) provides rice to the Municipality of Tagana-an and its three host communities: Barangay Talavera, Sitio Bagong Silang and Sitio Campandan.The provision of 150 sacks of rice to Tagana-an is done to provide assistance to residents affected by the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) in the municipality due to COVID-19. Cost of the activity is P 284,250.00 and source of fund is the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program of NAC-HMC. Intended beneficiaries were 1,500 families residing in the Municipality of Tagana-an. The turned-over rice was received by Tagana-an Mayor Cesar B. Diaz, Jr.Half sack of rice was also provided by NAC-HMC to its three host communities: Barangay Talavera, Sitio Bagong Silang and Sitio Campandan as support to families affected by the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) due to COVID-19. Rice distribution was facilitated by the Barangay Local Government Unit (BLGU) of Barangay Talavera led by Brgy. Captain Reden G. Plaza.Target beneficiaries for the rice turned-over to the three communities were 837 households or 3,447 individuals. The source of fund for the project that cost P790,965.00 was from the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and realigned Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) budget of NAC-HMC.

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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

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Philippine Resources - December 09, 2020

NAC-CMC: Helping communities rise from the Covid-19 pandemic

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. PalacioAs 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.

Company

Philippine Resources - December 03, 2020

THPAL Releases Funds To Help LGU

To help the local government of Surigao del Norte deal with the ill effects of this global pandemic, Taganito HPAL Nickel Corporation (THPAL) has from March to August this year released PHP54.1 million.Eric Macabenta, THPAL public relations officer, said the funds were sourced from the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the Social Development and Management Program (SDMP). This came after the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) gave a directive for the mining sector to realign their budgets to help in the pandemic response of the government. Based on its reports, THPAL said that it has already disbursed P2.7 million from its CSR funds and P51.4 million from its SMDP fund. This included relief goods, protective personal equipment, various equipment to local government units, frontliners, and residents, and vehicles.Macabenta said, "Apart from these, we recently donated RAT (rapid antibody testing) kits, antigen, a multicab, and a motorcycle for medical staff to the local government.”As part of its measures to help the local government in its fight against the COVID pandemic, Macabenta said that THPAL gave the LGU an iChroma II antigen device which is more accurate in detecting COVID-19 than the usual standard rapid diagnostic treatment; dispatching five nurses to support the health personnel of the local government involved in the Covid-19 response; and in June, donating P 15 million to the Philippine Red Cross to build the first molecular testing laboratory in Surigao del Norte.The facility is predicted to open this month and is seen to improve the testing and contact tracing of the province. "THPAL will continue to share its resources to support local government initiatives in fighting Covid-19," Macabenta said.A hydrometallurgical processing plant, THPAL uses the "high-pressure acid leach" method to convert the low‐grade nickel laterite ore to come out with nickel and cobalt mixed sulfide.

Company

Philippine Resources - December 02, 2020

The Digital Path to Sustainable Growth in Mining

Without a question of doubt, the mining industry nowadays is becoming even more complex. It deals with natural resources that are harder and more complicated to access, stricter regulations for both safety and environment, and a redefinition of what “profitable” means with a growing focus on sustainability and quality of life. last October, the country’s leading mining contractor Paramina Earth Technologies, Inc. joined the virtual “MINING LIVE EVENT 2020” spearheaded by Dassault Systèmes. Executive panelists from the likes of GEOVIA, Barrick Gold, BHP, and BSR tackled practical proof points on several topics. Here are the key takeaways from the event: How resilient are mining companies during the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts?Michelle Ash, CEO of the largest global supplier of mining software GEOVIA, reported that the top 50 mining companies in the world suffered a 30% reduction in market capitalization due to the pandemic - thereby making investors wary. However, we could expect mining production rates to normalize back to 95% capacity by the end of 2020. Ash believes that the mining industry has always been resilient in response to the pandemic. Continuous reorientations of their safe work practices and rethinking on how to continue their work are implemented by trying to limit people on site. She added, “Many countries understood the criticality of the mining industry especially as it underpins so many economies. I think you know during this period - it really has shown how important mining is to us all especially as we seek to divert funds into medical aid and other aid in different countries.” Indeed, Ms. Ash has pointed out very interesting matters. In these trying times, do you think the Philippines should follow in the footsteps of other countries? How do you think the Philippine mining industry could step up for the country? Making Strategic Mine Planning Decisions Confidently in Times of UncertaintyMining customers face difficult and rapidly evolving challenges to their business more than ever. In planning for this future, it is important to evaluate all possible scenarios, especially at the long- term strategic mine planning horizon. With the ambition to shape a sustainable future of mining, the capabilities and key benefits of business processes that make up Strategic Mine Planning on the3DEXPERIENCE® platform were presented and demonstrated which can enable companies to:Maximize strategic KPIs, such as NPV and ore recoveryGenerate robust Life of Mine plansRun many scenarios to test various projections on mining costs, commodity prices, and other influencing factorsHave confidence in all inputs and your final strategic planReduce rework and analysis timeReduce reserve loss, mining delays, and critical infrastructure risksAllow better collaboration, communication, and visibility to all stakeholdersSustainable and Efficient Mine Execution For mining operations, one of the greatest barriers to improving sustainability and profitability is inefficiency caused by a lack of control over mining operations in real-time. Mining productivity had declined an average of 30% over the past decade, as mining executives recognize “increasing productivity” as their greatest challenge. A solution for Integrated Mine Operations Management was presented thru DELMIA™ powered by the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform. The audience were able to peek on how to: Apply real-time monitoring for all mine activities, improving visibility, control and synchronization of the mine productionEnsure alignment between all activities by dynamically executing tasks and work ordersMonitor the progress and status of the scheduled executionReconcile material movements and equipment performanceReport to stakeholders across the organizationPerform lean mine operations through lean manufacturing concepts Efficiently Plan and Schedule Your Mining OperationsAs the mining industry moves towards an advanced future, automated and optimized schedules are key to guiding execution, responding quickly and efficiently to predicted or actual event outcomes as they occur. This process integrates execution, where events are accepted, propagated, and measured against various deviation thresholds before triggering the re-planning or re-scheduling process. DELMIA Ortems™ provides enhanced 3D-based visual support for plan/schedule validation, along with dynamic event propagation and deviation management. This solution enables mining companies to:Perform efficient planning and scheduling to reduce time to production Improve visibility of mine operations and data accuracySynchronize support activities with production tasks to ensure that mine extraction can be performed comprehensivelyMaximize asset utilization to allow for a greater return on investmentHandle unexpected events and complex scenarios through automated decision supportAllow better collaboration, communication, and visibility to all stakeholdersProtecting the Mining Value Chain by Understanding Geomechanics Risks and HazardsSafety plays a crucial role in the mining industry. Equipping mines with a “digital twin” to mitigate risks through proper safety evaluations prior to implementation leads to a safer technologically advanced future for the industry. With Process Automation from SIMULIA™ and the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform, potential Geomechanics risks and hazards can be eradicated by advanced Geomechanics Simulation. This enables us to:Gain better technical ability over your production using realistic cave growth Understand the Importance of cave propagation mechanismsPrepare block cave plans and scheduling with advanced flow modeling, featuring Cellular Automaton using GEOVIA PCBC™Run high-performance geomechanics simulations and forecasting using SIMULIA Abaqus™, a leading non-linear 3D Finite Element AnalysisDesign space exploration and optimization solutions for simulation process automation using SIMULIAISIGHT™Collaborate with all mining stakeholders by breaking down silos, all the while improving transparency and confidence with model assumptions and reduced limitationsThrough semantic federation of multi-disciplinary and other Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) data, Operation Driven Intelligence and skill association realize the power of connecting the dots and breaking silos to achieve a 360-degree view of asset efficiency.Performance Driven Capital Facilities Intelligence Performance Driven Capital Facilities Intelligence utilizes contextualized data and physics-based simulation to predict asset performance. On the other hand, CapitalFacilities Intelligence enables miners to not only better predict, but also extend the remaining useful life of various plant equipment, increasing asset value by reducing unplanned maintenance and overall turnaround time. With ENOVIA™ and EXALEAD™ powered by the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform, take advantage of:Driving change and collaboration among all disciplinesCapitalizing knowledge and know-how across domainsLeveraging collaborative data intelligence to make more informed and faster decisionsEnabling sustainability through machine-learning and physics-based simulationThese key insights and solutions have demonstrated how the mining industry can traverse to digital transformation. The journey is accelerating, spurred by capital risk, resource depletion, and disrupted by the current pandemic. However, new technology and solutions are responding to build a sustainable and resilient industry.The path to digital transformation has already been laid out and the journey is inevitable. The only question remaining is when will you buckle up and enjoy the ride. Let Paramina Earth Technologies, Inc. be your driver in your mine’s digital path to sustainable growth. Contact us at paramina_solutions@paramina.com or reach us through our website www.paramina.com for more information.

Company

Philippine Resources - October 12, 2020

Shares Go Up for Construction Firm As MCRP Starts

With the formal start of the Malolos-Clark Railway Project (MCRP), the shares of Megawide Construction Corp. went up from 35 centavos or 5.10 per cent to P7.21 apiece in spite of the 0.19 per cent downward spiral of the benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange index - which also resulted to the improvement of Megawide’s shares by 2.27 per cent every week. “I think these two affect[ed] the positive sentiment and outlook towards the company. The order book for the company will increase, thus the expected income for the company, which will improve its earnings moving forward,” said Philstocks Financial Inc. research associate Piper Chaucer Tan.Just recently, the Department of Transportation (DoTr) and the joint venture of Megawide and South Korean firms Hyundai Engineering and Construction Co. Ltd. and Dong-ah Geological Engineering Company Ltd. signed the first contract package of MCRP. The joint venture will undertake the building of approximately 17 kilometres of the viaduct, and Megawide has revealed its plans to raise funds through the issuance of P3-billion worth of preferred shares and with an over-allotment of P2-billion to come up with a total of P5-billion. These funds will go to the development of the 1.7-hectare Lot 2 at the Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX), and expansion of its precast capacity, and the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) multi-use development initial designs. “For the capital raising part, I think this is a sign that the company is preparing for the surge in construction demand once quarantine measures are further eased,” Tan added.

Company

Philippine Resources - September 24, 2020

Women Take the Lead in TechVoc Welding Course

Aroroy, Masbate -- Niña Acuña and Ivy O. Rivero, trainees for the Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) NC-I and NC-II courses (Photo by Marcelle Villegas, Philippine Resources Journal)By Marcelle P. VillegasIn the male-dominated industry of construction and infrastructure, women are starting to make their mark and participating in its development as well. In Aroroy, the Masbate Gold Project (MGP) and its eight host barangays organised and established a technical and vocational training center for various qualifications such as welding, plumbing and more. These qualifications are open to both male and female trainees.Is there a significant impact on women in this training program? How is this TechVoc program able to support its trainees in building a bright future?Philippine Resources Journal visited “The MGP Eight Impact Barangay Training Center” in Aroroy, Masbate to get to know the story behind this program. The Training Center is funded by the Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) of the eight impact barangays of Phil. Gold Processing and Refining Corp. and Filminera Resources Corporation (FRC), the two companies operating the MGP. This program is dedicated not only to residents of Aroroy, but to the entire province of Masbate.According to Marilanie Lanuzo, former COMREL and SDMP Manager, the TechVoc Center offers TESDA-certified courses with national certifications that are accredited by POEA. The goal is to provide training for locals who wish to acquire skills for employment within the country or abroad. Currently, they offer Shielded Metal and Art Welding (SMAW) NC-I and NC-II (National Certification) and Plumbing courses.“The eight barangay captains of host communities, together with the management of MGP, underwent a series of consultation to find what is the most effective way of service for the locals using the SDMP funds. They decided to focus on technical and vocational education,” said Ms Lanuzo. “Many adults who are looking for employment have very limited skills. Most of them cannot go back to high school or college because they are already married and with families. So, the most efficient solution is to train them in a short-term course where they can easily get a job afterwards.”The MGP Eight Impact Barangays Training Center (MGP8IBTC) started operating after its inauguration on June 18, 2018.Aroroy, Masbate -- Mr Cesar Manual Campomanes II, trainer for Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) NC-I and NC-II courses with trainees Niña Acuña and Ivy O. Rivero, and Mr Melecio E. Recto, Jr., Center Administrator and Chairman of the Board of Trustees - The MGP Eight Impact Barangays Training Center (Photo by Marcelle Villegas, Philippine Resources Journal) The MGP8IBTC training program aims to give training and work opportunities even to those who do not have high school diplomas. That is why courses like driving, tile setting, masonry and other skills are also included in their curriculum. “The strategy is to offer courses that can benefit many people, including women,” Lanuzo said.“Night classes are also offered to give chance to working people who want to upscale their skills. And we built a two-storey dormitory beside the center to accommodate enrollees coming from far places,” Lanuzo added.The MGP8IBTC is the first training center in Masbate to offer Plumbing qualifications. "So far in the entire province of Masbate, our school is the only one that was able to complete the required equipment for Plumbing training. Plumbing course is rare because the investment costs millions.”Female traineesCesar Manual Campomanes II is the trainer for the Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) NC-I and NC-II courses. Two of his students are women, namely Ivy O. Rivero and Niña Acuña."I find that female welders perform better compared to the males. In my three years as a trainer, I observed that female trainees are more meticulous and detail-oriented, thus effective with welding works. I believe it is their feminine touch that makes them excel, because welding is a delicate task.”Ivy and Niña admitted that they used to have low self-confidence which made their training hard at first. Most people are quick to judge that because they are ladies, they are incapable of learning and doing welding jobs correctly. However, through the course of the training, they have proven their skills, talent and competence in welding.“Our goal in the center is to produce well-trained students on courses like welding, plumbing and others regardless of their gender,” said Melecio Recto, MGP8IBTC Administrator.At present, the center was able to produce 153 graduates in plumbing and SMAW. All are NC1 and NC2 certificate holders.

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Philippine Resources - September 24, 2020

TMC supports local farmers during pandemic

While COVID-19 remains a threat to different parts of the country, a local community in barangay Sapa, Claver, Surigao del Norte has turned to farming to brace for another threat – food availability and livelihood amid the pandemic.A total of 25 members of Sapa Integrated Farmers’ Association (SIFAS) spent months of the community quarantine attending to their farming project supported by Taganito Mining Corporation (TMC), a subsidiary of Nickel Asia Corporation.The project is part of TMC’s Social Development and Management Program where it has so far spent over Php 1.07M for the livestock, seedlings, labor, construction, etc. For the first phase of the project, 220 Peking ducks were delivered by the TMC Community Relations team along with feeds and construction materials.On May 29, an additional 13 goats, 1 male and 12 females were turned over to the farmers’ group who hopes to market the goat’s milk and the cheese that can be made from it. They are also looking at converting the goat’s manure and urine into fertilizer and pesticide; while the mature goats can be sold for their meat.As counterpart, the members provided the labor during land preparation and take turns in manning and managing the farm which sits on a 1.5-hectare area offered by two of the members, Elpedio Acero and Manuel Escudo. “It is part of our social commitment to support sustainable livelihoods in our communities. In these challenging times, it is a privilege to continue helping and supporting our communities through our relief operations and livelihood programs,” said Roel Paniza, TMC Community Relations manager.SIFAS president, Virgelio Buyan, shared that the group is blessed that even with the on-going community quarantine, they are able to earn daily from the harvest of fresh duck eggs. Per day, they collect an average of five (5) trays of duck eggs which they sell in the community. They also receive a stipend for their labor for the land preparation for their fruit and flower plantation.“Akong pangandoy na mulambo ini na project isip pasalamat sab namo sa naghatag sa project. Amo ni ampingan kay kami ra man sab mabulahan, syempre garbo man sab namo ni mga taga Sapa (It is my dream that this project will prosper as our gratitude also to the company. We will treasure and take care of this since we will also be the one to benefit and it is our pride as member of the Sapa community), shared Buyan.Nagpasalamat ko na isa mi sa natagaan ini na project na makatabang gajud sa katawhan. Maskin COVID, padayon trabaho, para makita sa TMC na kami naningkamot gajud. (I am thankful that we are one of the recipients of this project that could really help people. Even during the pandemic, work continues also to show TMC that we are striving), said Buyan.

Company

Philippine Resources - September 24, 2020

Mining The Unmineable: Breaking Silos with Mine Digitalization

In the article we wrote from the previous issue, we challenged the Philippine mining industry to pave way for the workforce of the future. They will be spearheading the utilization of the major trends disrupting the industry - namely: electrification; digitalization; and automation. Experts revealed that among various sectors and industries, the mining industry was the most conservative in embracing these innovations – lagging far behind in harnessing the added values that come along with these new technologies. Albeit the late adaptation, the journey to this transformational shift is well on track. The Philippine mining industry just needs to follow suit. ARE WE MINING SMARTER? According to research conducted by McKinsey & Co., out of all the data collected by mining companies, only less than 1% is being utilized1. The giants in the industry perfectly understand that their potential operational breakthroughs lie in the untapped 99% of data. Therefore, they progressively rethink how mining works. They want to mine smarter.Electrification, digitalization, and automation – when individually utilized, potentially solves specific mine problems. Combined, they pose an abrupt improvement in the overall operation of the mine - thereby unlocking added values in the entire mining value chain we have never witnessed before.A FULLY-DATA DRIVEN MINEThis is the “autonomous mine vision” of French software company Dassault Systèmes® through its market-leading GEOVIA applications: to consolidate and maximize the benefits from the major trends in mining and make it fully-data driven across the entire mining value chain. The 3DEXPERIENCE® Platform makes this a reality for the mining industry. It is the go-to solution which will support the industry’s electrification, digitalization, and automation needs - under a proven, unified, and sophisticated platform. With the introduction of GEOVIA POWER’BY and its enterprise collaboration capabilities, your data gets added value and potential.GEOVIA POWER’BY, 3DPLAY: Valuable mine data from Surpac™, Whittle™, and MineSched™ can now be viewed and inspected natively from the 3DEXPERIENCE® Platform to access surface and underground mine planning data. This enables geologists and engineers to access and leverage the full collaborative capabilities that include data lifecycle management, specialized mining workflows and approvals.MINING’S MISSING LINK: ENABLING ZERO DISTANCEQuality data is a result of effective collaboration. Enterprise Collaboration breaks down silos and improves knowledge-sharing for all stakeholders, establishing a single source of truth. Whether you are fielded in the mine site, at the main office or on an official business trip, you can work on your projects thru the 3DEXPERIENCE® Platform - anytime and anywhere on desktop, laptop, tablet or even in your mobile phone.Managers can delegate and monitor tasks, issues, and risks real-time thru the ENOVIA™ application. Likewise, employees can collaborate online naturally with a familiar user interface design. They may like, comment and post on your newsfeed about a project, be updated real-time thru notifications, use the chat box for direct messages, send and receive e-mails, and create groups – all within a user-friendly interface.NEVER LOSE YOUR MINE DATAHave you ever experienced accidentally overwriting a block model and ended up editing weeks’ worth of work from scratch? With 3DDRIVE, file sharing and recovery makes your work easier. It runs and syncs just like popular file sharing apps – but with added functionalities exclusively designed for the mine setting. Once your data is synced into the cloud, you can access file version histories and restore it as desired.DATA GOVERNANCE AND SECURITYWe understand that your data is one of the mine’s most valuable assets and we intend to keep it that way. With the 3DEXPERIENCE® Platform, you have the power of centralized control and viewing of mining data baked into the platform. People, ideas, data, and solutions are all connected in real-time with complete traceability across the entire mining value chain.We use Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) for authentication, access control, encryption, injection detection and prevention, auditing and server hardening to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of your data.PREDICTING THE MINE, MINING THE PREDICTED: DIGITAL TWIN AND NEXT GENERATION MINING ANALYTICSThe 3DEXPERIENCE® Platform also allows you to reuse, share, and migrate the new global standard Open Mining Format (.OMF) seamlessly. This paves the way for the integration of collected data from third-party automated, digital, and electrified equipment into the platform such as robotic drills and trucks, smart wearables, and sensors. With the platform consolidating your mine data, the industry can expect to reach new milestones through next generation mining analytics as the platform continues to evolve and mature. This truly creates an accurate digital twin of your mine – enabling you to simulate important and risky decisions digitally before doing it in the real world.From the resources we mine up to the harsh weather conditions, mining has always been clouded by uncertainties that affect the industry’s operational performance. To future-proof mines and harness the potential of unused mine data, they should recognize that major changes on how we work is inevitable. Those who recognize this and reimagine how mining works can navigate through these uncertainties steadily that will surely benefit them in the long run. Let Paramina Earth Technologies, Inc. be your partner by immersing you to the 3DEXPERIENCE® transformation. Contact us at paramina_solutions@paramina.com or visit www.paramina.com for more information.1 McKinsey & Co., How Digital Innovation Can Improve Mining Productivity, November 2015, https://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/McKinsey/Industries/Chemicals/Our%20Insights/How%20digital%20innovation%20can%20improve%20mining%20productivity/How_digital_innovation_can_improve_mining_productivity.pdf

Company

Philippine Resources - September 24, 2020

Hinatuan Mining Corp. (NAC-HMC) Host Community Receive 2 Kilos of Bangus per Household

Residents of Barangay Talavera, Sitio Bagong Silang and Sitio Campandan received 2 kilos of Bangus each per household last May 20-21, 2020. The Bangus distributed was from the Bangus Farming Project of the United Fisherfolk Association of Bagong Silang (UFAOBS) sponsored by NAC-HMC. The Bangus Farming Project of the UFAOBS funded by the Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) of NAC-HMC was started last January 22, 2020 as part of the company’s commitment to support livelihood programs in its host community. Before formally launching the livelihood project for UFAOBS, NAC-HMC tapped the services of Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Region XIII personnel to conduct Technical Training on Bangus Culture in Marine Fish Cage last January 8-10, 2020.Distribution of the 2 kilos Bangus per household was done by NAC-HMC staff and UFAOBS members and officials in coordination with Barangay and Sitio officials along with the Barangay Health Workers (BHWs) of their respective areas and NAC-HMC SDMP teachers and college scholars.Sitio Campandan resident and Barangay Health Worker (BHW) Estela C. Beberino expressed her gratitude for the Bangus distributed to her community, saying that, “this is the third batch of food we received from NAC-HMC. First was rice then followed by the food packs and now 2 kilos of Bangus. For my catchment or the area where I am responsible as a BHW, this is indeed a big assistance since during that time, source of fish was limited. The Bangus distribution was very timely. All household in my catchment received 2 kilos of Bangus each and were very happy for the support given by NAC-HMC”.“For a small family like mine, the 2 kilos of Bangus lasted for 3 days. We cooked it in several different ways, in fact we still have some dried bangus now. To big families, maybe it lasted just one meal. Every family whether big or small benefited. We are thankful to NAC-HMC, they did not forsake us in our time of need and are always there to support our community”, she added. Barangay Talavera resident Ricky Eleguir was also thankful for receiving Bangus, saying that “Thank you for another blessing NAC-HMC. Thank you for the free viand”.UFAOBS President Lilibeth G. Becera was also thankful for the support and trust given by NAC-HMC to her group. “We are thankful for the assistance given by NAC-HMC to UFAOBS and the confidence they have in us. They bought our first harvest at P140 per kilo.”“As a group, the officers and members of UFAOBS are also happy that we were able to help our fellow residents during this pandemic. Who would have thought that our livelihood project would help not only the residents in our community Sitio Bagong Silang but also to that of the residents in Sitio Campandan and Barangay Talavera? Thank you NAC-HMC for trusting us and giving us the opportunity to help our community”, said Mrs. Becera.

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