‘ECOmmunity’: Towards a stronger partnership with community stakeholders

VALENCIA, CAGDIANAO, Province of Dinagat Islands—Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC) affiliate Cagdianao Mining Corporation (CMC) has launched the “ECOmmunity” initiative that seeks to directly engage community stakeholders in the company’s rehabilitation drive.

Unveiled through the company’s Mine Environmental Protection and Enhancement Office (MEPEO), the initiative aims to tap community members from two host and neighboring barangays for the production of some 5,000 seedlings.

The program, anchored on the theme “Pag amuma sa Kinaiyahan, Kauban atong Katilingban” (Nurture Nature, Together with the Community), started with a series of consultations with village officials and residents of the target host and neighboring communities—Valencia and Legaspi.

After completing the essential requirements to ensure the program’s sustainability, 36 residents of Barangays Valencia and Legaspi were given proper training and technical assistance through the company’s licensed foresters.

The training aims to capacitate the participants in the proper methods of seedlings production and maintenance strategies.

To formalize their entry into the program, the participants and their villages officials—represented by Barangay Chairpersons Gesrael C. Tillo of Valencia and Wenefredo Alonsagay of Legaspi, signed a collective Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with CMC, represented by its Resident Mine Manager, Engr. Arnilo C. Milaor, and Environmental Manager, marine biologist Phoebe Jean G. Alac.

According to Alac, the program helps the company accelerate its greening program while giving livelihood opportunity for community residents.

“We ensure that our program participants are those who are hardworking and bona fide members of the community who are willing to do the job, gain extra income while staying at home and taking care of their families,” Alac said.

“Muapil gayud ko niani kay aduna koy panginabuhian, ug makatabang usab ko sa akong pamilya hilabi na sa akong bana nga masakiton na (I will join this program to help for living while my husband is sick I will be the one to work for this),” said Nanay Felisa Gases, resident of Brgy. Boa.

Engr. Milaor said that among of the seedlings to be produced are bamboo, native and fruit bearing trees, which are all significant in the rehabilitation program of the company.

“The partnership intends to uplift the lives of the communities through the seedlings they produce while strengthening the relationship between the company and the stakeholders, and raise awareness on CMC’s protection and conservation efforts,” Milaor said.

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