Typhoon Odette overwhelmed the Province of Dinagat Islands a few days before Christmas, leaving a devastation that continues to be a disheartening spectacle to this day, 3 months after the typhoon made a landfall in the island province.
Ricardo Piquero, Purok Chairman of Barangay Legaspi, where sitio Cagais is located, is the leader of this small community of 22 households. And on behalf of the residents of Cagais he receives more than 200 sheets of corrugated sheets (yero), a gift from employees of Nickel Asia Corp. (NAC).
Piquero says they did not expect the gifts but it was what they pray for and what they need now.
“As you can see, all our houses have been razed down by Odette, every day is a struggle emotionally as each of us finds ways to rebuild our homes, these corrugated sheets are heaven-sent, you are our angels,” Piquero expresses in the dialect.
NAC employees initiated a program called PSR – Personal Social Responsibility – a few years back starting with “Lapis at Papel, Kapalit ay Ngiti” where employees would donate writing papers and pencils to poor students in far-flung areas before the pandemic suspended face-to-face classes.
According to the International Journal of Development Research, PSR is “a novel socio-economic model, based on a strategic decision by an individual to undertake an obligation to society in an organized framework.”
Engr. Arnilo C. Milaor, Resident Mine Manager of Cagdianao Mining Corp. (CMC), a NAC subsidiary based in Dinagat Islands, explains that the PSR program is when employees contribute from their own personal funds to give to the communities. “NAC employees have had several PSRs – pots and pans for the victims of the Mayon Volcano eruption; papers and pencils for students of far-flung schools such as in Malimono in Surigao del Norte and Dinapigue in Isabela; blankets for the victims of flashfloods in Buso-Buso in Batangas; food for abandoned children housed in a center in Quezon City, and employees would contribute however we can, devoted to our PSR programs because we are committed to the communities,” Milaor expounds.
NAC’s PSR programs respond to immediate needs of a community, the idea of corrugated sheets was decided after reports of houses in Dinagat Islands destroyed by the typhoon,” Milaor adds.
Aside from PSR however, CMC as a corporate citizen in Dinagat Islands has since downloaded P13.2M of the company’s social development and management program (SDMP) and corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds to help the communities survive and recover from Odette.
Collectively, subsidiaries of NAC in areas hit by Odette – Cagdianao Mining (CMC), Hinatuan Mining (HMC), Rio Tuba Mining (RTN), and Taganito Mining (TMC) – have so far downloaded a total of P44.M of its SDMP and CSR funds to respond to the social challenges caused by Odette.
NAC is a diversified natural resources development company and the Philippine’s largest producer of lateritic nickel ore.|-BNN