BAGUIO CITY, May 18 (PNA) –- A mine safety official here said implementation of community development projects under the Social Development Management Program (SDMP) of four mining companies in the region, are increasing annually from PhP66.33 million in 2012.
Mine Safety and Environment Division (of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau) Head Felizardo Gacad, in an interview today, May 18, said the mining industry will spend about PhP236.6 million in social development projects in the region this year.
The amount corresponds to SDMP projects to be implemented in 2015 by the mining firms operating in the Cordillera Region particularly in Benguet including four aggregate companies – Benguet Corporation; Balatoc Gold Resources Corp. – Balatoc Tailings Project; Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company; Philex Mining Corporation;Benguet Management Corp. – Irisan Lime Project; Itogon – Suyoc Resources Inc.; ML Carantes Development and General Construction Enterprises and Mountain Rock Aggregates.
Gacad said the SDMP fund allocation represents 1.5 percent of the current operating cost of a mining or aggregate company which will be implemented on the following year.
Aside from the SDMP, contribution of the mining industry to the country’s economy include investment opportunities, employment and job generation and income to the national and local government units (LGUs) in terms of taxes.
The industry also brings in direct contributions to the mining communities in terms of education, health, transportation facilities, water supply, electricity and livelihood opportunities, Gacad added.
He said that between 2008 and 2013, mining companies in Cordillera paid PhP14.56 billion in taxes to the national government, local government units and royalties to indigenous people for the use of their land.
While the mining industry continues to be a big contributor to the country’s economy, the government, through DENR – MGB will ensure that mining companies are complying with all mining and environment laws for responsible and sustainable industry.
Gacad added that recent developments state that holders of Small Scale Mining Franchises will soon implement a similar program like the SDMP for the benefit of the small scale miners in the region. (PNA)