SMI hands over Php4.5M in community development funds to LGU Kiblawan, Blaan IP communities
Tampakan, South Cotabato - Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI), the partner of the Philippine government for the development and extraction of one of the largest undeveloped copper and gold deposits in the world, handed over last week a total of PhP4.5 Million community development funds for the people of the municipality of Kiblawan, in Davao del Sur.
Of the said amount, Mayor Joel "Jojo" Calma received on behalf of the Municipality of Kiblawan PhP3 Million, as part of SMI's commitment under the 2023 Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) that is aimed towards the sustained improvement of the living standards of the host municipality.
“We are thankful to SMI for all of its development programs for the local communities,” Calma said during the simple turnover ceremony held at the mayor's office last August 25, 2023.
The mining company also handed over additional start-up capital of PhP1.5 Million to KITAB Marketing Cooperative, a business initiative run and managed by Blaan indigenous cultural communities from Barangays Kimlawis, Tacub, Abnate and Bulol-salo, all in Kiblawan.
The livelihood project is part of SMI's capacity-building programs to address poverty and underdevelopment of indigenous cultural communities in the area.
"Malaki talaga ang pasasalamat namin sa SMI. Dahil sa kompanya, naisakatuparan ang matagal na naming pangarap na magkaroon ng kabuhayan kaming mga IPs dito sa Kiblawan," said Kimlawis Tribal chieftain and KITAB Marketing Cooperative President, Fulong Rufino Dianga.
With all major approvals and permits from the national government secured, SMI is ready to start construction this year and produce its first copper concentrate in 2026. (30)