Marcventures allots P3.3 million for 33 'non-mining' communities
In first photo, a village official inspects the completed street-lighting project provided by MMDC to Brgy. Baybay in Carrascal. In second photo, MMDC community organizer Angelita R. Villaflores joins some fishermen from Brgy. Gen. Luna in Cantilan who received livelihood assistance and a new boat donation from MMDC.
Beyond the boundaries of its 4,700-hectare nickel property, Marcventures Mining and Development Corporation's (MMDC) ensures that communities along the peripheries of its tenement are not left behind.
These "non-mining communities" – consisting of 33 barangays in the Surigao del Sur towns of Cantilan, Carrascal and Madrid – are allocated P100,000 per year from the company's Social Development and Management Program (SDMP).
“As a catalyst for community development, mining firms like Marcventures view the distribution of opportunities from mining operations as an important part of doing business,” says Jose Dagala, MMDC Assistant Vice President for Social Commitments. “While we are not required by law to allocate development funds for communities outside those that are directly affected by our operations, we still do this with the consent and cooperation of our host mining communities.”
For 2018, MMDC has allocated P3.3 million for non-mining communities.
Residents of these villages benefit from financial assistance ranging from farm productivity support, construction of vital community facilities such as streetlights and water system, enterprise development assistance, skills training, health assistance, and even scholarships for college students.
For instance, fisherfolk in coastal towns have been receiving various forms of livelihood assistance to improve their catch.
In Cantilan's island barangay of Gen. Luna, an association of fishermen, recently got their own new motorized banca to replace their aging fishing boats.
Paul A. Flores, the association's president, said the motor banca has proven useful not only for fishing but for delivering their catch to the mainland as well.
“Our income has surged after MMDC provided us with an additional pump boat," Flores said in the dialect.
He explained that the association has two types of members, according to their roles: one group consists of the "fishnet fishers" whose main task is to catch fish, and the others are "manglab-asay" who take charge in selling the fish at the market.
The addition of the new pump boat meant that the sellers can readily dispatch their catch, he said, instead of waiting for the other boats to be vacant.
"Most of our members have no pump boats of their own, so the new motor banca from MMDC was really a blessing for us," Flores said.
In Brgy. Tapi, also in Cantilan, a P50,000 road repair project made it easier for a group of villagers engaged in fish production to transport their products to the market.
Surigao del Sur being a rice-producing province, Marcventures also provided fertilizers to farmers from non-mining communities.
In Brgy. Panayogon, in Madrid town, 28 rice farmers received fertilizers totaling P100,000 last year.
One of the recipients, Vidal Daholog Jr., said the amount was able to provide them 80 sacks of sulfate and 50 sacks of complete fertilizer.
Without MMDC's assistance, Daholog said they could have turned to loan sharks and lose much of their profits.
"Instead of paying high-interest loans, we were able to spend the savings for the needs of our families," Daholog said in the dialect.
MMDC has also extended assistance for backyard livestock raisers, recognizing Surigao del Sur's agribusiness-oriented economy.
Livestock raisers in the non-mining villages of Buntalid, Bugsukan, Tigabong and Magasang, in Cantilan town, and Brgy. San Juan, Madrid, received livestock products worth P285,000 for their fattening project.
In Brgy. Tigabong, Cantilan, and Brgy. Baybay in Carrascal, residents who have long complained of their dark streets finally got their own streetlights, worth P125,000 in total.
Other non-mining community projects include feeding activities and the provision of health cards for deserving families.