TACLOBAN CITY – A mining firm operating in MacArthur, Leyte has committed to set aside funds for the procurement of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines.
In a statement Thursday, the MacArthur Iron Sand Project Corp. (MIPC) said the management just approved the proposal to include vaccination as one of their initiatives.
“The management is still deliberating on the amount that we will allocate. We intend to supplement the vaccine supply because this is a primary need (for) this pandemic,” the MIPC stated.
The company will meet with the Leyte provincial government which has the authority to negotiate with vaccine manufacturers through the central government.
“We cannot represent ourselves to vaccine manufacturers. The best people to do that are those from the local government units. If we can consolidate all efforts, the impact will be great,” the firm said.
MIPC recommended prioritizing residents of MacArthur town in the provision of vaccines since residents are directly impacted by mining operations. The town has a population of over 21,000.
The provision of Covid-19 vaccines is just one of the assistance of MIPC to the local health sector.
Others are the provision of nebulizer, wheelchairs, and medicines; health apparatus for village health workers and nutrition scholars; turnover of rescue and protective equipment; hospitalization for indigents; and mobile medical mission.
The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) reported that the MIPC is one of the priority mining projects tapped by the government to help the economy adversely affected by the health crisis.
The firm is reportedly investing PHP500 million and has already hired nearly 300 workers in MacArthur town since last year.
The MGB granted the MIPC mining claims of 2,300 hectares last September 2020, covering the towns of MacArthur, Javier, and Abuyog.
In MacArthur alone, the MIPC has mining claims of about 300 hectares for three years. (PNA)