SURIGAO CITY--A village in the mining town of Claver, Surigao del Norte, received four "high-impact" infrastructure projects worth PHP13 million from a nickel smelting plant early last week.
In a statement Tuesday, Taganito HPAL Nickel Corporation (THPAL) said Barangay Urbiztondo received a health center and birthing facility, a building for Alternative Learning System, a Tanod (village watchers) outpost, and a pavement concreting project.
THPAL said the projects, sourced from the company's Social Development Management Program (SDMP) funds, were received by barangay officials on January 26.
Urbiztondo Barangay Captain Larry G. Escutin said the company's SDMP and corporate social responsibility funds have enabled the village to transform into a developed barangay, with all the amenities that benefit the locals.
“Aside from the infrastructure projects, THPAL also provided us high-impact projects to improve health and education. More importantly, the company has assisted in various ways for us to cope with the adverse effects of the (coronavirus disease) pandemic," Escutin said in the dialect.
Meanwhile, ALS teacher Vilma Abad said the school facility would provide students a "safe and conducive" place for adults and out-of-school youths.
"Now that we have our own building, we don't have to scratch our heads where to hold our next classes. This is really a big help for our students in the community," Abad said.
Through its annual SDMP funds, THPAL has been providing its four host and 10 neighboring communities with basic health care services, scholarship programs, livelihood projects, wellness programs for senior citizens and persons with disabilities, and other development initiatives.
THPAL, a hydrometallurgical processing plant operating inside the Taganito Special Economic Zone in the town of Claver, converts low-grade nickel laterite ore to produce nickel and cobalt mixed sulfide, the end products of which are exported to Japan for further processing. The final products are used as inputs to produce medical tools and equipment, electronic batteries, and other industrial materials.
THPAL started operations in 2013 with an investment value of USD1.6 billion. (PR)