APEX Mining Co., Inc. (Amci) has proven how responsible mining can go a long way not just to make profits, but in lifting the country’s economy, safeguarding the environment, and helping its surrounding communities live sustainably.
Amci situated in the municipalities of Maco and Mabini has been around since 1930s, making it the oldest mining company in Mindanao. As it celebrated its golden anniversary having the theme ’50 Ka-Tuig Nga Pag-Amuma Sa Kinaiyahan Ug Katawhan (50 years of caring the environment and the people), several activities were conducted starting on February 20, 21, and 26 which include Poster-making Contest, Zumba Dance Contest, Bucket Relay Contest, Tug of Peace (Men and Women) during the opening activity.
Melba Gambong of Amci’s Human Resource Department said although they hold Amci’s anniversary yearly, this time around their celebration is special and grander that is why several events were laid out, planned well and successfully conducted.
The event was commenced with a mass celebrated by Tagum Bishop Medel Aseo on the first day, followed by the ribbon-cutting for the firm’s booth and history wall located in its tenement in Barangay Masara, Maco, Davao de Oro.
Vice president for Corporate Administration of Amci Emelita Fabro said they want to start the event with a mass as thanksgiving to God that Amci has reached 50 years in the industry and hope and pray that another 50 more years of successful operation will be given to the company.
Several students of the adopted schools of the mining firm joined in the poster-making contest which was bested by Marwin Impas of Masara Christian School, Inc.
The zumba dance contest, which was participated by five groups consisting of employees of Apex and its contractors was aced by the Mine Infra team who won P10,000 as the champion’s prize. The Mill Division, PMES and CWD took the cash prize of P8,000 for the second place, while the Admin and the MSGSI grabbed the third place with the P5,000.
The Security Team, however, did not go home empty handed as they received P2,000 as consolation prize.
On the second day, Amci awarded tokens and plaques to its stakeholders which include its loyal suppliers namely, Davrenco, MSGSI, Multi Shield, Bagani, Atlas Copco/Epiroc, Sandvik, Sta. Clara and Edcop and local government unit officials led by Davao de Oro Governor Jayvee Tyron Uy, Davao de Oro Second District Representative Ruwel Peter Gonzaga, Maco Mayor Alvera Veronica Rimando, Mabini Mayor Renaldo Dayanghirang, Maco Vice Mayor Arthur Carlos Voltaire Rimando, and Mabini Vice Mayor Halima Muñoz.
They also awarded the Department of Environment’s Mines and Geosciences Bureau Davao Region through its director Lawyer Jasper Alberto H. Lascano, and Environmental Management Bureau Davao Region through Director Sophie T. Manuel.
Leaders of its eight host villages namely Codino Bote of Barangay Tagbaros, Domingo Cabillo of Barangay Elizalde, Douglas Dumalagan Jr. of Barangay Masara, Felipe Obligana of Barangay Teresa, Isidro Relator of Barangay New Leyte, Michelle Lim of Barangay Mainit, Policarpio Omega of Barangay New Barili and Romeo Gregorio of Barangay Golden Valley and Mansaka IP Leaders chairman of the Sumpaw ng Inangsabong Mansaka, Inc. (SIMI) Aurelio Mataas and chairman of the Indigenous Political Structure (IPS) of Maco Datu Rolando Casigloman were also awarded during the Stakeholders Recognition.
Robert Wagtingan, Amci acting resident manager, said their anniversary celebration is also a time to recognize and thank their stakeholders, the IPs, their host communities, their employees and the local government’s support for without them Apex Mining would not have reached their 50 years in the industry.
“Kasi hindi naman kami mag-survive ng ganitong taon kung walang support sa host communities, our IPs and employees and ask for continued support for another 50 years,” he said.
On February 26, Apex Mining conducted a river clean-up and tree planting activities, before another mass to culminate its anniversary events.
Part of the events during the mining firm’s anniversary was the exhibition of several agricultural products of its hosts barangays which include an array of vegetables, ornamental plants and succulents, and cacao products like tablea and dark chocolates.
Engineer Ferdinand B. Dobli, Apex Mining’s Community Relations manager, said those who joined in the exhibit are those barangay associations who are producing food and other agricultural products as some are into industrial production like hollow blocks while others are into tourism.
These barangay associations were formed through the assistance of the Amci in a bid to help the residents of their host barangays and communities to live independently even after the mining firm cease to exist.
Amci extended its help not just for the capitalization of these groups but also through livelihood and skills training as well as capacity building to the members.
“What we aim for at Apex Mining is the growth and development of both the company and its surrounding communities that is what we are dreaming of,” Dobli said.
He said they are looking at three possible support they can offer to the community they are in: the short-term, medium-term, and long-term support, which includes medical assistance for health programs, educational and livelihood assistance, public infrastructure support and socio-cultural programs.
For their health and medical assistance, Amci is continuously supporting four health centers, namely, Apex Mining Co., Inc. Clinic in Barangay Masara, Elizalde Infimary Clinic in Barangay Elizalde and Maco Municipal Health Center which are all in Maco, and the Mabini Municipal Health Center in Mabini.
Aside from that the mining firm also regularly conducts dental and outreach program, annual operation tuli and blood-letting activity.
For its educational support, Amci adopted several elementary and high schools where more than 6,000 students have benefitted from the program. Among its adopt-a-school program activities include bags and school supplies distribution, student reading programs, support to the local school board teachers and Brigada Eskwela activities. This aside from the P1.5 million they have donated to the provincial government for the construction of a classroom building in one of the schools not a part of their adopted schools.
Amci has already produced several graduate scholars and a host of other scholars who are still studying at different schools.
Among its public infrastructure support is the construction of the Apex Village and the construction of a church both in Elizalde, road maintenance, river de-silting, road repair and riprapping projects, road clearing, and bridge construction in Barangay Teresa, Maco.
The mining firm also turned over two buses to Immaculate Conception Parish in Barangay Elizalde, donated vehicles for emergency purposes to barangays Masara and Tagbaros, constructed Interfaith church, sponsors the community’s transportation, Kasalan ng Bayan, and children’s ‘Palaro’, extends assistance to the Armed Forces of the Philippines and supports the municipal activities.
It also assists in the Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) programs of its host communities, provides capital equipment to barangay halls and attends barangay activities as among its socio-cultural and religious support.
Amci also contributed more than P2 billion to the national economy in the form of tax. This is aside from the IP royalties it paid which reached more than P365 million. This is the reason why Amci is recognized as the No.1 Business Taxpayer and No.2 Real Property Taxpayer for nine consecutive years from 2010 to 2019 by the Maco Municipal Government.
With these manifold of milestones with Amci’s 50 years of existence, still there are things they are hoping and aiming to achieve to help their employees, the residents along with their children of their host barangays and communities, and the neighboring communities in general.
“To do better, whatever we are doing now is already good, we’re (government policy) compliant, but we want to do more. We want to see happy and vibrant employees, happy working for the company, happy delivering the goals, the vision and the mission of the company. We want to see communities who are already self-sustaining, we’d like to see children who are going to school who are happily being educated, trying to prepare themselves to a better future, and we would like to improve more our relationship with our stakeholders, we would like to have more engagement activities with our employees, with the people of the communities, with the LGUs, and with all our stakeholders,” Fabro said.