The social development and management program (SDMP), as provided for in the DENR Administrative Order No. 2010-21, the consolidated implementing rules and regulations of RA 7942 otherwise known as the Philippine Mining Act of 1995, is a tool for the development and implementation of community programs and projects, in consultation and in partnership with the host and neighboring communities in a mining area.
The overall goal of the SDMP in the mining industry shall be the upliftment of the quality of life and improvement of living condition of the people towards the end of mine life and even long after the mining company ceased operation.
In line with the above requirement of the law, Berong Nickel Corporation (BNC), through the years of its operation, continuously provides the host and neighboring communities with projects geared towards achievement of the goals of the SDMP. Previous development projects initiated and implemented by the company were focused in the following area of concerns: a) educational program; b) health and sanitation; c) infrastructure; d) livelihood; and e) others.
In a simple ceremony held on July 1, 2017 in Berong covered court, BNC inaugurated three infrastructure projects, as follows: a) one classroom building in Tungib Elementary School constructed to meet the growing number of student enrollees; b) birthing home to provide maternal and child health care, including other basic health services to all the members of the community; and c) Berong Elementary School multi-purpose hall as venue for social/educational gathering of the students/faculty.
Engr. Roland A. De Jesus, Regional Director of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) MIMAROPA, in his speech, stressed that the projects created under the SDMP are for the benefit of the host community, not only for the present times, but even after the life of the mine which is the main objective of the SDMP, as provided in the new Mining Act. He cited various mining projects in the past governed by the old mining regime, that after the mineral resources were fully extracted, the mining comapany will just leave and the area that is host to mining operation became a ghost community, with no economic activity. He then urged the community to treasure and nurture the developmental projects provided under the SDMP for the sustainable development of the community.
Mr. Cesar Simbulan, President of BNC, in response, said that the company will continuously provide the host and neighboring communities with sustainable development projects and prepare them to be self-reliant communities, even after the life of the mine.
By: MGB MIMAROPA