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NAC Medical-Surgical Mission: Taking Care of Communities

True to its commitment of taking care of the communities where it operates, Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC) successfully conducted its free medical and surgical mission this February where almost 600 patients benefitted.

The medical-surgical mission is an annual charity of Operating Companies (OpCos) of NAC— Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation (RTNMC), Taganito Mining Corporation (TMC), Hinatuan Mining Corporation (HMC), Cagdianao Mining Corporation (CMC) with the participation of Coral Bay Nickel Corporation (CBNC).

The 8thannual mission was conducted simultaneously in Palawan and Surigao del Norte in collaboration with provincial and local governments from Feb. 13 to 19.

It provides free major and minor operations to the residents of impacted communities of the OpCos. It also provides free consultations, check-ups, room accommodation, and major and minor surgeries.

NAC President Martin Antonio G. Zamora said the members of the communities that NAC serves acknowledge the impact of the mission.

“After all, how often do you get the opportunity for a special surgical procedure free of any charges? We take care of the patients. We take care of our communities, that is our commitment,” Zamora said.

Zamora said because of the medical-surgical mission, which is being conducted in the past 20 years in Palawan ad eight years in Surigao and Dinagat, many lives have been changed for the better.

Records showed that a total of 597 patients from Surigao, Dinagat, and Palawan provinces benefited from the nine-day medical-surgical mission,funded through the participating OpCos’ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program.

The surgical procedures include 229 major and 339 minor operations on cleft palate and lips, hernia, gall bladder stones, goiter, ovarian cyst, myoma, hemorrhoids, cysts, breast mass, and other lump removals.


Eight-month old Kimlynson Baroga Pansoy was one who benefitted from the free medical-surgical mission of NAC.

She was brought by her mother—Lennie to the mission in Rio Tuba, Palawanto undergo cleft palate surgery.

Lennie was very grateful for the free surgery provided by NAC through RTNMC saying that this would really change the life of her daughter.

“Ang medical mission ng RTNMC at CBNC ay isang malaking ginhawa para sa aming mga magulang at mga kapos na mapagamot ang aming anak,” said Lennie.

She added: “Si Kimlynson ay isang masayahing bata at hangad ko ang mapabuti siya kung kaya’t Malaki ang maitutulong ng surgery para mabago ang kanyang buhay.”

Reynald Salvador, 42, from Narra, Palawan, also benefitted from the Mission. He had a massive growth in his right chest that was estimated to weigh about 50 kilograms.

The lump, diagnosed as an angiomyoma, started growing from Reynald’s chest when he was 15 years old. It was only removed ― after 27 years ― when he was brought to NAC’s Medical Mission.

Reynald went home after a couple of days of rest following four hours of surgery.

Another beneficiary, sixty-year-old Mila Peralta, a resident of Surigao City and has a tumor. She was accompanied by her daughter Teresa in going to the Mission.

For the past 30 years, Mila had been carrying a mass as big as a volleyball under her arm. But after the major operation that lasted almost six hours, her life changed.


Every year, medical practitioners all the way from the United States joined forces with local medical experts to perform the needed medical intervention to patients who registered for the medical-surgical mission.

This year, the medical team had grown to 75-strong, most of whom are repeat returnees to the Mission. They convened for the six-day annual mission – three days in Surigao and three days in Palawan.

Dr. Archie LaMadrid, the head surgeon who has been with the Mission from the very beginning, said: “The medical team are proud of the numbers of accomplished operations, it keeps us going.”

LaMadrid said the 297 surgical procedures completed in Rio Tuba this year alone is a record.

Last year, the major and minor procedures done in RTN totaled 182.

Dr. Robinson Baron, the original proponent of the Mission, said they are looking forward to coming back next year.

For his part, Dr. Bimbo T. Almonte, the Medical Director for the Rio Tuba Nickel Mining leg of the mission, said that a bigger challenge was persuading members of the communities to come forward and not hesitate to accept NAC’s offer of free medical-surgical procedures.

“Some residents from far-flung barangays continue to dilly-dally in seeking medical help. They have various concerns ranging from financial and logistical issues. Our goal as a responsible member of these mining communities is to totally eliminate any unease the communities may have of these medical procedures,” said Almonte.

The Missions started 20 years ago in RTNMC, the NAC subsidiary in Palawan. Eight years ago, the mission was extended to cover Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Island, where three other NAC subsidiaries– CMC, HMC, and TMC are based.

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