TAMPAKAN, South Cotabato - True to its commitment to its partners and stakeholders, Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI) provided on December 13, 2022, a total of PhP4 million as initial community development funds for the year 2023 to the Indigenous Peoples/Indigenous Cultural Communities within the Tampakan Copper-Gold Project area.
In a simple turnover ceremony, the Folu Bato Blaan Foundation, the Bong Mal Blaan Foundation, the S'Bangken Blaan Foundation, and the Danlag Tampakan Blaan Foundation, represented by their respective officers and members, each received PhP1 million from SMI.
The said fund is the first tranche of an annual Community Development Fund totaling PhP12 million, allotted by SMI for its host communities and as committed under the terms of its 2019 Free and Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) Memorandum of Agreement. It is intended to be utilized by the foundations for its various self-determined cultural heritage, employment, livelihood, health support and educational assistance projects to help improve the quality of life of IP communities within the Project area.
"Maraming salamat, SMI! Simula 1995 ay wala kayong sawa sa pagsuporta sa amin. Ngayon, almost 27 years na ninyo kaming sinusuporahan," said Bai Dalena Samling of Danlag Tampakan Blaan Foundation, Inc.
Even though it is not yet operating, SMI has delivered over PhP21.3 million in community development assistance to the host communities.
The Tampakan Project also provides local communities with employment opportunities through its pool of rotational and contractual workers sourced from the host communities.
Since 2003, the Company has also been providing financial support to over 10,000 students from the project area. In addition, thousands of families have benefited from the free medical and dental services provided by SMI, which has also supported medical insurance for over two thousand indigent families, mostly belonging to the Blaan Indigenous Cultural Communities. (30)