MGB Asks Miners to Realign Their SDMP Funds
The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) has directed miners to repurpose their funds for social development and management programs (SDMP), safety and health programs, and for the procurement of vaccines.
In its revised regulations and rules which implements the Philippine Mining Act of 1995, the SDMP is for the “sustained improvement in the living standards of host and neighbouring communities.”
“The mining contractor or permit holder shall realign the 2021 funds and the said procurement shall be chargeable against the development of host and neighbouring communities of the SDMP for the impact barangays or municipalities, and health and control services of the SHP for employees or workers,” MGB said in a memorandum.
According to MGB Acting Director Wilfredo G. Moncano, “the funds coming from a portion of the annual budget of the SDMP are to be used in procuring vaccines for non-employees of the mining companies, but are residents of the host and neighbouring community, while the funds coming from the SHP are meant to be used for buying vaccines for mining employees.”
The MGB said that this is “in the interest of public service and to help fight against COVID-19.” It added that those buying vaccines using the realigned funds must follow the protocol set by the Department of Health and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
The MGB also required firms to reveal the realigned funds in their quarterly reports.
“The implementation of this memorandum shall be included in the quarterly accomplishment reports to be submitted by mining companies subject to monitoring of the MGB Regional Office concerned,” the MGB said.
According to Moncano, “How much percentage from the SDMP and SHP will depend on how large is the SDMP but with a cap of 75% of it, although it is not mentioned in the guidelines.”
He added that the miners would still need to coordinate with the communities for the realignment of funds.