Carmen Copper Corporation (CCC) and its host and neighboring communities in Toledo City signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on the five-year implementation of its Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) last Wednesday, March 4, 2020, at CCC Clubhouse, Brgy. Das, Toledo City.

SDMP aims to bring sustainable growth of the host and neighboring communities that host mining industries through development programs, projects and activities done every year.

While SMDP is a 5-year framework program, the law requires the operating mining companies to develop an annual social development and management program.

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) 7 assisted the municipal and barangay beneficiaries and the CCC in finalizing the SDMP projects and activities.

Engr. Armando L. Malicse, MGB 7 chief science research specialist of Mine Safety, Environment and Social Development Division (MSESDD), emphasized the importance of planning workshops in coming up with projects and activities mutually agreed by the mining firm and the host community.

He assured that MGB can provide the necessary framework and consultations about the program.

“The law provides clear guidelines on the development and implementation of Projects, Projects and Activities (PPAs) under the SMDP,” Malicse said.

CCC, located in Barangay Don Andres Soriano, Toledo City operates on the mineral resource and ore reserves located in barangays Carmen, Lutopan, and Biga in Toledo City.It employs open pit as its mining method since the 60s.

SDMP projects and activities, as stated in the MOA, will benefit the host barangays Biga, Das, Media Once, and Loay, as well as the neighboring barangays of Bagakay, Poog, Campo 8, Cantabaco, Pangamihan, General Climaco, Bunga, Cambang-hug, Sam-ang, Bulongan, Magdugo, Landahan, and Subayon.

The Philippine Mining Act of 1995 requires mining companies to allocate funds for programs and projects that can help uplift the lives of its host and neighboring communities.

These projects include supporting local organizations, small businesses, and building farm-to-market roads, water systems, and schools, among others.

MGB7 Director Loreto Alburo said their agency conducts regular monitoring and supervision in the implementation of SDMP that benefits will reach target communities.

Malicse witnessed the MOA signing together with Toledo City Mayor Marjorie Perales and representatives from the Department of Education – Toledo Division, Department of Agriculture, and Toledo City Health Office.