For their outstanding initiatives in the pursuit of excellence in environmental management, two operating companies (OpCos) of Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC) were recognized as environmental champions by the government.

For their outstanding initiatives in the pursuit of excellence in environmental management, two operating companies (OpCos) of Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC) were recognized as environmental champions by the government.

Cagdianao Mining Corp. (CMC) with operations in Valencia, Dinagat Islands and Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corp. (RTNMC), based in Bataraza, Palawan bagged the prestigious Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Award (PMIEA) for 2020.

The Mines and Geoscience Bureau (MGB), an agency under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), organizes PMIEA, which was created by the virtue of Executive Order 399 issued in 1997.

According to MGB, “the award is given to operating mines that have shown exemplary performance in the area of environmental enhancement and protection, safety, health, and social development and corporate social responsibility.”

This is a back-to-back win for CMC which also bagged the Presidential Award in 2019 during the 66th Annual National Mine Safety and Environment Conference (ANMSEC) held in Baguio City.

During that year, CMC also bagged the two highest safety performance awards – the Safest Surface Mines and the Overall Safest Mine Operations among all operating mining companies in the country.

For 2020, CMC won again as Presidential awardee and as runner-up for the safest surface for the second time around.

In welcoming the recognition, Engr. Arnilo C. Milaor, CMC Resident Mine Manager, said “the award for 2020 is made more significant because of the unprecedented challenges posted by COVID-19.”

He also noted that PMIEA "is the ultimate measure upon which everyone in the Philippine mineral sector is weighed and scrutinized by a competent panel of adjudicators under the aegis of no less than the Office of the President, upon whose name this award is given to deserving mining companies."

Milaor vowed the award "will only drive us more to make the country’s mineral sector as a vital component for national development."

Heattributed the company's success to the company's workforce, saying it was "the CMC personnel who endured the long months of not seeing their families; who braved the continuing threats of the virus to perform their duties to our community stakeholders, to our clients, to our regulatory bodies."

Milaor also emphasized the important role of the CMC Team who stayed clear-eyed and determined to achieve the company’s objectives for 2020.

“Our employees had to exert double efforts and had to sacrifice personal time in order to achieve our goals, to ensure 100 percent implementation of our commitments to all our stakeholders in the mining communities”

Engr. Arnilo C. Milaor

CMC Resident Mine Manager

Cagdinao Mining’s commitment includes P55.5 million in Annual Environmental Protection and Enhancement Program (AEPEP) and P47.3 million for the development of CMC’s host and neighboring communities through its Social Development Management Programs (SDMP) for 2020 alone.

Engr. Aloysius C. Diaz, NAC VP for Operations, said the improved living conditions in the mining areas are proof of our commitment to the communities.”

He cited CMC’s one outstanding project—the 19.2-kilometer farm-to-market road worth P12 Million, connecting five barangays from two municipalities to the main provincial road.

“The road project effectively provides the residents access to basic services like the hospital, and, most importantly, efficient access to trade and commerce,” said Diaz.

Cagdianao Mayor Adolfo E. Longos also hailed CMC for bagging the Presidential Award saying that this is a proof of the firm’s commitment and dedication to a responsible mining.

“I believe your first PMIEA award has truly ignited your desire to do more and this time is an unquestionable proof of your commitment and dedication to a responsible mining despite difficulty brought about by COVID-19 pandemic. I am confident that you will deserve another PMIEA Award next years to come” said Mayor Longos.

In the case of Rio Tuba Nickel, it won this most-coveted “Presidential Award” for four times – 2002, 2015, 2018, and 2020.

Engr. Cynthia E. Rosero, RTNMC Resident Mine Manage, said the company never stopped operations and continuously implemented essential programs on environment protection, community development, and safety and health.

Despite the pandemic, the Palawan-based mining company has expended a whopping P66.5 Million for AEPEP and P36.2 Million for SDMP in 2020.

With strict enforcement of preventive measures against COVID-19 to protect employees and our host communities, we did not have work stoppage with no recorded-case of infection within the mine site, and, most significantly, we did not lay-off any worker

Engr. Cynthia E. Rosero,

RTNMC Resident Mine Manager

For her part, Environmental Planner Janice M. Tupas, Manager of the Mines Environmental Protection and Enhancement Dept. (MEPED) of RTNMC, the PMIEA scoring is 50 percent environmental management; 20 percent safety and health; 20 percent implementation of SDMP; and 10 percent for information and education campaign or IEC.

“The qualifiers or applicants for the PMIEA must achieve a final rating of more than 95 percent. There are significant points also for ‘no unresolved notice of violations’; ‘compliance to operational and legal obligations’, and ‘no fatal work-related accidents’,” Tupas explains.

Amid the ongoing nationwide community quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the mining companies underwent a rigorous offsite validation of their submitted documents and presentations on their Safety and Health, Environment, and Social Development (SHES) performance and accomplishments covering the July 2019 to June 2020 period.

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