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Mining firm spends P19-M for Covid response in Surigao Norte



Taganito Mining Corporation (TMC) said it has already spent some PHP19.1 million for coronavirus disease (Covid-19) response in Surigao del Norte province.


TMC said the amount is part of the company's sector's initiative to ease the impact of the health crisis on poor residents while helping equip medical front-liners with the necessary tools to combat the virus.


Based on its latest report to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), the company said it has already used some PHP17.9 million from its Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) funds and over PHP1.1 million from its corporate social responsibility funds for Covid-related relief operations and activities.


"The relief operations aim to support the communities and the province’s frontliners, in solidarity with the people of Surigao del Norte," TMC--a subsidiary of Nickel Asia Corp. (NAC)--said in a statement to the Philippine News Agency Tuesday,


TMC said it has also donated early this month some 5,000 rapid test kits to Surigao del Norte to help detect possible cases of Covid-19 throughout the province.


"The donation was received by Vice Governor Eddie Gokiangkee Jr. who said that the test kits will be utilized in detecting asymptomatic Covid-19 cases especially with the return of Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIs) in the province," said TMC, which mines export-grade nickel in Claver town.


“We know for a fact that we don't still have a vaccine (against Covid-19). Let us thank TMC for giving us rapid testing kits. This is really needed by our province. We know for a fact that we still don’t have a vaccine,” Gokiangkee was quoted as saying in the dialect.


 Gokiangkee said he is looking forward to the establishment of the Philippine Red Cross molecular testing laboratory through joint PHP18-million funding from TMC, Cagdianao Mining Corporation, and the Taganito HPAL Nickel Corporation.


TMC said as of the first week of July, it already has distributed 3,810 sacks of rice, 14,168 face masks, and other food items, as well as medical supplies both to Claver local government and for the Province’s “Hatud Hinabang Program,” which is expected to benefit over 150,000 families.


It said it has also donated 1,000 rapid test kits to Claver and Surigao City local government units, as well as to the National Commission of Indigenous Peoples in Caraga Region.


The Philippine Red Cross-Surigao del Norte Chapter also received 1,000 face masks for its front-liners and six handwashing facilities from the company.


“The donations are only the other half of the big story of TMC’s efforts to protect the mining communities against the threat of Covid-19,” TMC resident mine manager Artemio Valeroso was quoted as saying.


On top of these, Valeroso said TMC has established quarantine and isolation that are regularly inspected by the local Inter-Agency Task Force on Covid-19 to help protect the employees and the communities from the virus.


Meanwhile, Claver Mayor Georgia Gokiangke has thanked the TMC’s contributions" as the community’s partner in the fight against Covid-19."


“You are really doing something to support our operation against Covid-19. Thank you very much TMC," Gokiangkee was quoted as saying in vernacular.


Source: https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1108894

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