Philex renews pact with Baguio journalists

WHILE affirming its commitment to responsible mining, Philex Mining Corp also vowed to keep their commitment to uphold the independency of the media in giving fair and balanced reporting of the mining sector.

Philex CEO and president Eulalio Austin thanked journalists in Baguio and Benguet for balanced reporting as he said that both parties would continue as partners in developing the mining industry further.

u201cOur past successes will ensure us that we will succeed, and our past failures will ensure us that we are strong enough to overcome our failures,” Austin said as he expressed confidence the coming year would be good for the company.

The mining industry, added Austin, can indeed, be a catalyst for economic development when done responsibly — something which Philex Mining has been doing the past six decades in Tuba and Itogon, the host towns of its Padcal operations in Benguet.

Austin added the company is showing no signs of slowing down on the humanization of its commitment to sustainable development.

u201cOne of our goals for the coming year is for Philex Mining to raise the bar of public opinion about the mining industry,” Austin said.

Manuel Agcaoili, SVP and Padcal resident manager, illustrated that 90 percent of the workforce at the company’s gold-and-copper production in Padcal come from near its mine site, and that Philex Mining’s 2016 allocation for various community projects as well as for information campaign and industry improvement reached P110 million.

Agcaoili added Padcal’s 1,890 employees and workers have an average compensation package much higher than their counterparts in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) and Metro Manila.

The employees also enjoy free housing and utilities, free education for their children, health-care services, and rice subsidy.

This means the P622 daily, entry-level minimum wage in Padcal is 118.2 percent higher compared to P285 in CAR and 27 percent more than the P491 in the National Capital Region (NCR).

The average total daily wage of a Padcal employee amounts to P1,057 including productivity bonus, bereavement leave and assistance, group life and accident insurance, vacation and sick leave, night differential overtime pay, paternity/maternity, etc.

Agcaoili also said Philex Mining has played a significant role in community development, nation building and economic progress, contributing P10.12 billion in regular and mining-related taxes to the government coffers between 2011 and 2015.

The company, he stressed, had paid 100 percent of the required regular taxes amounting to P6.6 billion as well as the P3.5 billion in mining-related taxes in the five years to 2015. In other words, Philex Mining paid 153 percent in taxes for the period.

The officer-in-charge of Padcal’s Community Relations (ComRel) Joemar Pritos, said in the 12 years to 2015, Philex had spent P86.5 million for its education program in the outlying communities (both host and neighboring), P40 million for its livelihood program, and P306 million for public infrastructure like farm-to-market roads, school buildings and medical facilities, among other projects. (Roderick Osis)

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