SMI invests PhP66-M in 2023 for improvement of quality of life in Tampakan Project host and neighboring communities
Tampakan, South Cotabato - Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI) reported to the National Government on Thursday that it had invested PhP66 million in 2023 alone for the various social development programs of the Tampakan Copper-Gold Project’s host and neighboring communities.
The company said most of the significant development funding were focused on capacity building, education, health, and livelihood programs, projects and activities of its stakeholders and partners in the municipalities of Tampakan in South Cotabato, Malungon in Sarangani, Kiblawan in Davao del Sur, and Columbio in Sultan Kudarat, through its Social Development and Management Program (SDMP).
The rationale for such a development funding stemmed from several baseline socio-economic conditions that characterized the communities such as poverty, low quality education, poor health conditions, weak governance and lack of people empowerment, and poorly developed and limited basic infrastructure.
For this purpose, SMI allotted PhP17.9 million for the institutional development of its stakeholders, PhP13.5 million for education, PhP10.4 million for health and medical assistance, and PhP11.6 million for sustainable livelihood projects.
SMI allotted another PhP4.2 million for the protection and promotion of the host Blaans’ culture and indigenous rights and PhP8.0 million for public infrastructures.
Even though the Tampakan Project has not yet started, SMI has already poured more than PhP1.2 billion in financing various social development projects and activities that are aimed at promoting the general welfare and advancing the socio–economic, health and educational conditions of its 10 hosts and 11 neighboring communities.
With all major approvals and permits from the national government secured, SMI is ready to start construction early next year and produce its first copper concentrate in mid-2027. (30)