Dinagat nickel firm spends P4.3-M for Covid-19 response

To help contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), the Cagdianao Mining Corporation (CMC) has released over P4.3 to the local government of Cagdianao, Dinagat Islands for food and protective personal equipment, including an ambulance unit and a service truck.

Based on CMC's report to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Caraga Region covering mid-March to June 8 this year, the company has already disbursed over P3 million from its Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) and over P1.3 million from its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) fund.

The money was spent mostly on food supplies for residents, medical front-liners, and law enforcement agencies involved in Covid-19 containment measures, totaling P1,422,172. Its relief operations have so far benefited 1,300 households.

To further ensure food security among its host and neighboring communities, CMC also distributed P351,198 worth of survival garden kits to 1,300 families. It has allocated a total of P500,000 for this initiative.

To improve the local government's emergency response and speed up relief operations to families affected by Covid-19 lockdown, CMC also provided the municipal government an ambulance unit and a service truck.

Municipal Administrator Marc Adelson Longos, who received the ambulance and the service truck on April, said the equipment would drastically improve the local government's logistics and emergency capacity.

"Especially during the time of Covid-19, the donations from CMC would really help us bring our relief goods faster to our residents, as well as provide crucial transport for our front-liners," Longos said.

Provincial and municipal front-liners also received from CMC P956,700 worth of personal protective equipment, face masks, sanitizing kits, disinfection equipment, and other health supplies.

In addition, the company has also allocated P100,000 as a subsidy for two nurses and two midwives who are tasked with responding to the health concerns of its host and neighboring communities.

Likewise, P200,000 has also been allocated to employ barangay health workers who are currently conducting household assessments for Covid-19 symptoms to some 1,300 households.

"Our assistance to the communities is considered a lifeline of the residents. We continue to maintain employment of the locals from four host and neighboring barangays and the government need not worry about their daily sustenance," said Engr. Arnilo Milaor, CMC resident mine manager.

"We provide health care and information drive to educate locals about this virus through our medical team, we make sure that members of the community with 1,300 households have a supply of rice. We also provide regular sanitation to our communities, as well as PPE to the front-liners from the provincial health personnel down to the barangay level, among others," Milaor added.

Milaor said CMC has also allocated P1 million as its counterpart for the establishment of a molecular diagnostic laboratory in Caraga Region, in coordination with the other affiliate-companies of Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC).

CMC, which mines nickel in Barangay Valencia here, is an affiliate of NAC, the country's biggest nickel supplier.

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