MGB Allowed Re-Alignment of Funds
To bankroll their typhoon release efforts, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) has permitted miners to re-align their funds for their respective Social Development and Management Programs (SDMP).
This was one week after Typhoon Ulysses ravaged the country.
“In the interest of public service and for humanitarian reasons please be informed that all MGB Regional Offices (RO) concerned are hereby authorized to allow mining companies to re-align the unutilized/unspent funds of SDMP to assist typhoon victims within the host and neighbouring communities, as well as the non-impact barangays in their respective localities,” MGB Director Wilfredo Moncano said in a recently issued memorandum order. “Said realignment shall be consulted with and agreed by the host and neighbouring communities.”
Mancano added that the recent typhoon didn’t really have an impact on the mining industry. “Initially, they were concerned about lack of electricity or power but these were resolved later,” he said.
A five-year plan aimed at developing a responsible resource-based community, the SDMP is supposedly a tool for the implementation and development of community projects and activities for the communities of a mining project.
Vice president for corporate communications at Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) Rocky Dimaculangan added that the decision of the MGB will improve the capability of the miners to “provide immediate relief and assistance to help their communities after disasters”.
“Many of our members donate funds, do relief operations, and, if necessary, undertake the search, rescue, or retrieval operations during disasters even without being asked or ordered,” Dimaculangan said. “The legit large-scale mining industry has in many instances been among the first responders in times of disasters and calamities.”
In the early days of COVID, MGB let mining companies re-allocate their SDMP funds for COVID relief efforts. This allowed the miners to provide social amelioration measures for host communities. In addition, miners were also provided with PPEs, relief goods, and food packages.