More than P155 million, a ‘big’ jump of about 334 percent from last year’s P46.415 million,  have been earmarked this year by nine operating mines and quarries to bankroll various social development and management programs (SDMP) geared towards improving the quality of lives of the host and neighboring communities in Central Visayas.

Of then number, Cebu gets the biggest chunk of 94.86 percent or equivalent to P147.102 million; Bohol with 4.89 percent or P7.573 million; and Negros Oriental and Siquijor with 0.2 percent or P0.250 million, and 0.09 percent or P0.149 million, respectively.

“The contractor or permit holders shall allot annually a minimum of one and a half percent of the operating costs necessary to meet the minimum basic needs of the mining communities and enhance human welfare and prevent or reduce social ills, “ said Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) 7 Regional Director Loreto B. Alburo.

Alburo added close monitoring and supervision of these social development projects as DENR Secretary Ramon JP Paje has directed us to ensure that communities will enjoy a reasonable and equitable share from these mining contractors through the implementation of livelihood and other relevant programs.

Among the nine, Carmen Copper Corporation which is one of the largest copper mines in the country and the only operating metallic mine in region 7, located in Toledo City, Cebu, topped the list with P127.969 million.

In Cebu, Philippine Mining Service Corporation-Alcoy Dolomite Mine/Dolomite Mining Corporation in Alcoy with P6.680 million; Apo Cement Corporation/Apo Land and Quarry Corporation with P4.6 million; JLR Construction and Aggregates Inc., P1.9 million; and Quarry Ventures Philippines Inc., P1.275 million, all in Naga City; Taiheiyo Cement Philippines Inc./Solid Earth Development Corporation in San Fernando, P4.687 million.

Philippine Mining Service Corporation-Bohol Mine/Bohol Limestone Corporation in Garcia-Hernandez, Bohol, with P7.573 million; Heirs of Arturo Zayco/Holcim Philippines in Ayungon, Negros Oriental with P0.250 million; and Lazi Bay Resources Development Inc. with P0.149 million.

The enrolled projects or programs under SDMP include human resource and institutional building; enterprise development and networking; assistance to infrastructure development and support services; access to education and educational support programs; access to health services, health facilities and health professionals; protection and respect to socio-cultural values; and use of facilities and services within the mine camp or plant site.

Operating cost shall mean the specific costs of producing a saleable product on a commercial scale incurred in the calculation of the net income before tax, as confirmed by the regional Office. This shall include all costs and expenditures related to mining or extraction and treatment or processing (inclusive of depreciation, depletion and amortization), exploration activities     during operation stage, power, maintenance, administration, excise tax, royalties, transport and marketing, and annual progressive or environmental management.

Host community refers to the people living at the barangays outside the mine camp, where the mining project is located while neighboring community involves the people living at the barangay(s), which are adjacent to the host community, areas covered by the mining tenement of the project, areas where mining facilities are located and immediate areas which will be affected by the mining operations.