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Feature: Mining companies in Caraga lead in rescue and rehabilitation works

Clearing of landslide materials in Placer, Surigao del Norte
The entry of January 2011 was really a wake‐up call for the Caraga Region. During this month, continuous rainfall was experienced but the heavy downpour in the later part of January caused by the Low Pressure Area was the most devastating. This triggered the overflow of water from rivers and lakes in lowland areas, landslides in some of the critical areas and surging of big waves in the coastal areas.

Alert level 3 was declared all over the region prompting schools to suspend classes and the immediate evacuation of residents in the affected areas. Every day, evacuees in evacuation centers increase in number and so the increase in basic needs like food, water and clothes.

In areas were landslides are high, roads leading to this places are not passable. Landslide materials blocked a bigger portion of the highway. Some roads that were reached by the overflow water of Mainit Lake in Surigao del Norte were also chest‐deep submerged.

For barangays which are situated in the islands, rescue is very risky to undertake especially that the local government units are not equipped with the necessary facilities.

This prompted the mining companies in the region to be the first to heed to the call of the time. Likewise, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office appealed to all mining companies and their contractors to extend help to the nearby communities affected by the calamity.

Taganito Mining Corporation‐HPAL project with Nickel Asia Corporation shared 1M and the use of rubber boats to rescue people while Taganito Mining Corporation made their equipment available to clear areas with landslides and distributed relief goods for the victims. Philex Mining Corporation likewise shared P500,000 and distributed nipas to residents for the repair of their houses.

In Placer, Surigao del Norte, Manila Mining Corporation and their contractors have been assisting the LGUs in dredging works, de‐clogging and repair of culverts, clearing of materials at the Mapaso National Highway. Financial assistance and relief goods were also handed to the victims.

In Surigao City, PACEMCO distributed canned goods, rice, noodles. They also helped in the evacuation of residents to safe areas. Company equipment was also made ready in case of landslide.

Pacific Nickel Philippines Inc. as well as Greenstone Resources, Platinum Group Metals Corporation likewise did their part in providing relief goods, medicines, financial assistance and rescue operation. Dump trucks, ambulance, equipment and their personnel were readily available to respond to emergencies.

Philsaga Mining Corporation in Agusan del Sur provided the necessary facilities needed by the LGU in their rescue operation. While SR Metals Inc. in Tubay, Agusan del Norte likewise assisted in the rescue of the affected communities using trucks and rubber boats.

MRL Gold Philippines also mobilized its exploration staff to offer firsthand assistance to the communities within their area. The company opened their Agata Camp to serve as evacuation center to 22 families.

In Surigao del Sur, CTP Construction and Mining Corporation with Marcventures Mining and Development Corporation, Carrascal Nickel Corporation extended financial assistance for the relief goods of the people in their municipality.

Aside from the help from these companies, the Chamber of Mines of Caraga also extended cash donations to the 5 provinces of Caraga.

During this trying times, the mining companies shared the same concern for the people in the communities— their safety. So it utilized its equipment, expertise, facilities and its people to reach out to those in need.

Having observed how the rescue and relief operations was done, the Chamber of Mines of Caraga with the Philippine Society of Mining Engineers‐Caraga agreed to make it as top priority for this year, the creation of a Quick Action Response Team involving the LGUs in their respective areas of concern for a well‐coordinated action and effective rescue effort in tandem with the other sectors in the community. (MGB-13)

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