Miner partners with DENR, MGB for Bicol relief effort

FILMINERA Resources Corp. (FRC) and Philippine Gold Processing & Refining Corp. (PGPRC) announced the two firms has partnered with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) to bring over P3 million worth of relief goods to evacuees affected by the eruption of Mayon Volcano in Albay province.

The two companies comprise the Masbate Gold Project, situated in Aroroy, Masbate. It is the single largest investment in the province of Masbate, whose Social Development and Management Program have catapulted Aroroy from a fourth-class municipality into first-class category.

A statement said the relief goods are meant to help 4,000 families cope with the day-to-day needs while staying in the safety of the evacuation centers. The identification, distribution and packaging were conducted hand in hand with the regional offices of the DENR and the MGB, according to the companies.

FRC Chairman Gloria T. Climaco said they are working with the regional offices of the DENR and MGB to provide assistance to the evacuees.

“There are more than 80,000 people who were displaced by the eruption, and there is an overcrowding of evacuation centers,” Climaco was quoted in the statement as saying. “The government needs all the help it can get to help [compatriots] who were displaced by the waking of the volcano.”

Aside from being displaced, there is also a growing concern regarding health issues because of the ashfall, she added.

PGPRC President Ray Mead said the company’s social responsibility extends beyond Masbate and into the region, which, he added, “they are very much part of.”

Mead said the two companies “partnered with organizations to provide medical and health services to the Masbate residents.”

“So as good neighbors, we’d like to also provide assistance here in Albay.”

There are also warnings of lahar as heavy rains in the region may mix with the ashfall. Both FRC and PGPRC enjoin other companies and individuals to help provide basic necessities to those who have been evacuated.

“The government agencies cannot do this job on their own, we need the collective effort of people in the region–and even the nation–in emergency situations such as this,” Climaco said. “This is just the first tranche as we evaluate where we can help and where we are needed most.”

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