On September 9, 2020, Philippine Nickel Industry Association (PNIA) launches the Nickel Initiative Talks and Webinar discussing the response of the mining sector to help its host Local Government Units in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nickel Initiative Talks and Webinar aims to share the experiences and learnings of the mining industries and LGUs as they worked hand in hand to relief communities as well as to ensure the sustainability and stability of their constituents and host communities amidst the war against the pandemic.
The webinar was hosted by PNIA Executive Director, Charmaine Olea-Capili. Moreover, Mayor Vicente Pimentel III of Carrascal, Surigao Del Sur shared the combined efforts of the LGU and the mining companies to aid communities.
Resource speakers from nickel mine companies around the country shared their strategies and experiences in aiding communities amidst the pandemic – Berong Nickel Corporation (BNC), Citinickel Mines, Zambales Diversified Metals Corporation (ZDMC), Agata Mining Ventures Incorporated, and Platinum Group Metals Corporation.
Community Relations and Development Head and one of the webinar resource speaker Jonathan Pillien of BNC and ZDMC presented their response against the threats of the virus from barangay up to the provincial level. He reported that the mining firm conducted relief operations and support efforts for frontliners in the barangay and municipality. Moreover, the firm also contributed in the establishment of the testing center in Palawan.
“Sa Palawan, nag-contribute po tayo doon sa establishment ng testing center sa buong probinsya ng Palawan, i-aaccess po ‘yan ng mga around 23 municipalities ng buong Palawan,” Pillien said.
Resource speaker and Citinickel Mines Administrative Manager Pamela Miguel also presented their COVID-19 response in the communities around their operational areas. Citinickel Mines allotted P 3.07 million from the realigned Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) for basic necessities provision like food, vitamins and medicine for the communities which were received by 4718 households and frontline personnel. The mining company also donated 10,000 rapid test kits for the province and sent rescue vehicles for stranded Narra residents in Puerto Princesa City.
“We were the first to send rescue vehicle to transport the stranded residents of Narra in Puerto Princesa City,” Miguel said.
“It was basically a small thing but, it made us realize that big or small, we can really help the communities,” she added.
The other resource speakers are; Jonathan Banez from Agata Mining Venture Inc and Alex Arabis from Platinum Group Metals Corporation.