BAKUN, Benguet -- At least P15 million worth of various forms of hard and soft projects were already completed by the management of Royalco Philippines within its areas of operation.

The numerous completed projects are an offshoot of the provisions of the New Philippine Mining Act of 1995 and in pursuit of the company's corporate social responsibility in the area of its operation.

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While Royalco Philippines is in its exploration stage, provincial and municipal officials cited the company's benevolence of helping the community in its infrastructure projects ranging from road maintenance, road opening, road clearing and waterworks construction is a proof of its cooperation and concern for the utmost development of villages hosting their areas of exploration.

Undoubtedly, concerned local officials claimed the projects implemented by Royalco made the lives of the stakeholders much easier.

The provision for payments of salaries of teachers, conduct of medical missions, providing assistance to sports and athletic activities, among others, are concrete indications that the company is inclined to fulfill its commitment to help in the development of its host communities even if its activities are simply exploration and not full blown mining operation.

Having been convinced with Royalco's firm commitment to fulfill its corporate social responsibility, the provincial and municipal governments, including the barangays concerned, greatly appreciated the firm's exercise of its corporate social responsibility in the area of operation.

At the same time, the elders and leaders of the Gambang Indigenous Cultural Communities of phase 1 who allowed the mineral exploration project of Royalco certified the project accomplishments of the company as per their memorandum of agreement and non-MOA projects covering its existence over the past two years.

Ruben Quitoriano, Royalco senior geologist, said the company is still committed to implement its numerous remaining projects included in the agreement with the elders and other non-MOA projects to show their sincerity in pursuing the exploration activities in the place since they value the importance of community participation to such environmentally critical endeavor.

Royalco is one of the many mining companies conducting exploration activities in the different parts of the province since Benguet has been identified as one of the most mineral-rich areas in the country.

Quinotriano cited the company is trying to prove that the negative impressions against exploration activities is not actually true and what they are inclined to do is to introduce development to the host communities that they will eventually leave behind once their permit to conduct explorations will expire in the future. (Dexter A. See)