Mining sector reports P402M COVID relief fund

MINING firms pooled together their remaining funds for the crisis brought by the COVID-19 pandemic and gathered the P402 million relief fund that were given to over 1.4 million households and frontliners nationwide.

According to the Philippine Mining Industry (PMI), the aid they shared are the remaining funds for their respective Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) intended for the host and neighboring communities during the entire quarantine period to contain the spread of the deadly virus.

Acting Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) director Wilfredo Moncono authorized the PMI to realign their unutilized SDMP funds to help the national government in its fight against COVID-19.

MGB, a line bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) that oversees and regulates the mining sector, reported that as of July 8, some 1.2 million households have been provided with food packs, vegetables and garden kits through the relief fund.

This exceeded the initial target of around 1.184 million beneficiaries by more than 16,000, the MGB said.

On top of this, the MGB said  close to 210,000 frontliners have been provided with personal protective equipment and medical supplies.

“The SDMP fund has components that can be sacrificed and realigned to respond and assist the clamor of the government and the community for assistance,” Moncano said.

About 90 percent of the pooled SDMP funds have been utilized so far.

Mining companies are required under DENR Administrative Order 2010-21 to allocate at least one percent of their annual operation cost to their SDMP to assist host and neighboring communities and in developing mining technology and geosciences.