Mining firms donate P30 million worth of rice to Palaweños

(The Philippine Star) - June 21, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Mining firms Rio Tuba Mining Corp. (RTN), a subsidiary of Nickel Asia Corp., and Coral Bay Nickel Corp. (CBNC) have donated a combined P30 million to purchase sacks of rice intended for the Palaweños. This is in response to the call of Palawan Governor Jose Ch. Alvarez for a joint public-private sector effort to address the threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Palawan, with its 1.3-million population, was among the first provinces to close its borders on March 17 to adhere to the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) directive of the national government.  The closure is particularly hurting the tourism industry of the province which, according to reports, brought in an income of some P83 billion in 2018 alone.

Earlier, RTN downloaded to the communities in Bataraza a total of P5.5 million from its realigned Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) funds, with an additional P560,000 from its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds, for relief operations conducted in the mining communities during the ECQ.

The SDMP is a five-year budgeted plan for development programs in the mining communities, which the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) has allowed to be realigned during this pandemic in order to assist the mining companies’ host communities and neighboring barangays.

Aside from tourism, mining is another industry in Palawan that brings about economic progress to the communities.

Bataraza municipal treasurer Romana Bermudez earlier said RTN and CBNC taxes have had a huge impact on the economic growth of Bataraza, a first-class municipality in Southern Palawan where the two companies are based.

According to the municipal treasurer’s record for 2019, RTN has paid P10 million in real property taxes and P33 million in business taxes while CBNC paid P31 million for real property tax and P86 million for business tax.

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