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TUBA, Benguet– The Philex Mining Corporation expressed its gratitude to local governments that supported the unhampered mining operations during the implementation of the extended Luzonwide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), through the period of general community quarantine (GCQ), and eventually modified GCQ (MGCQ).
Philex president and chief executive officer Eng. Eulalio B. Austin, Jr. said the trade and industry department issued to the company a certification stating, among others, that mining is an export-oriented business, thus, it was covered by the exemption given to similarly situated companies that allowed the same to continue their uninterrupted operations during the community quarantine period.
“We are grateful to the local officials and stakeholders of Itogon and Tuba for allowing the unhampered mining operations that made Philex meet is projected target production even during the nearly three months of community quarantine,” Engr. Austin stressed.
The Philex official disclosed that for the first quarter, the company exceeded its production target of over 23,000 tons of ore per day, while for the second quarter, the largest gold and copper producer is likely to exceed its production target which contributed in regularizing the ongoing operations.
Austin claimed it was not difficult for them to deal with the host and neighboring communities on their uninterrupted operations during the community quarantine that allowed its over 1,500 work force to be guaranteed of their employment and decent income amidst the serious negative effect of the global pandemic to the jobs and livelihood o0f people.
According to him, Philex values its harmonious working relationship with its host and neighboring communities thus the company sees to it that situations, like the community quarantine, are properly coordinated with the local officials for their information and guidance.
Engr. Austin explained the company understands the predicament of local officials on the need to strictly implement quarantine protocols to prevent the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in their areas of jurisdiction, but, they were also realistic in balancing the directive given by the national inter-agency task force on the management of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases that exempted mining from the coverage of the businesses that are prohibited to operate during the quarantine primarily because the same is export-oriented and the need for continued operations.
He emphasized what is important at this point is Philex was able to solve its huge production backlog at the end of last year and even exceed its production target for the first quarter which means that mining is still in the right track amidst the heavy impact of the community quarantine to most of the businesses in the different parts of the country.
Itogon and Tuba towns play host to the operation of Philex Mining Corporation, one of the country’s largest gold and copper producer which is projected to end its mine life by 2022.
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