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Mining firm spends P54-M for Surigao Norte Covid response

COVID-19 RESPONSE. Representatives of the Taganito HPAL Nickel Corporation turn over an ichroma II antigen testing device to the municipal government of Claver, Surigao del Norte, on Nov. 23, 2020. The company has released over PHP54 million from March to August to assist local government units in their respective coronavirus disease response. 

SURIGAO CITY–The Taganito HPAL Nickel Corporation (THPAL) has released PHP54.1 million from March to August this year to help Surigao del Norte’s local government units (LGUs) contain the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

Eric Macabenta, THPAL public relations officer, said Tuesday the amount was sourced from its Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds, following a directive from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) for the mining sector to realign their budgets to assist the government’s pandemic response.

Based on its recent report to the MGB-Caraga, THPAL said it has so far disbursed PHP51.4 million from its SDMP fund and PHP2.7 million from the CSR budget for relief goods, protective personal equipment, vehicles, and various equipment to LGUs, front-liners, and residents in various municipalities.

“Apart from these, we recently donated RAT (rapid antibody testing) kits, antigen, multicabs, and motorcycles for medical staff to the LGU,” Macabenta said, referring to Claver town where it operates.

Last week, Macabenta said THPAL gave the Claver LGU an iChroma II antigen device, which has a higher accuracy rate in detecting Covid-19 than the standard rapid diagnostic equipment. The company also donated 2,000 antigen testing kits to the municipal government.

He said THPAL also hired five nurses to buttress the local government’s health personnel who are involved in the Covid-19 response.

In June, THPAL also donated PHP15 million to the Philippine Red Cross to build Surigao del Norte’s first molecular testing laboratory.

Based in the city, the facility is expected to open this month and is seen to boost the province’s testing and contact tracing capability.

“THPAL will continue to share its resources to support local government initiatives in fighting Covid-19,” Macabenta said.

THPAL is a hydrometallurgical processing plant that uses the “high-pressure acid leach” method to convert the low‐grade nickel laterite ore to produce nickel and cobalt mixed sulfide. The product is exported to Japan, where it is processed further to manufacture medical tools and equipment, electronic batteries, and other industrial materials. (PR)

Credit belongs to : www.pna.gov.ph


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