Sleepy town rises; now an industrial estate

>> Friday, October 7, 2016

By Ceasar Perante

KASIBU, Nueva Vizcaya — What used to be the idle upland village of Didipio, this town, has been transformed into a dynamic industrial estate. Locals here attribute this development to Australian mining firm, OceanaGold.
Last year, OGPI was awarded the Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Award (PMIEA) for exhibiting outstanding level of dedication, initiative and innovation in pursuit of excellence in mining operations, environmental, safety, health management and community development.
“One of the most significant contributions to its host communities over and above the mandated requirements under the Philippine Mining Act is the Didipio Community Development Corporation (DiCorp) which was established Aug. 11, 2011 to assist the local community in creating sustainable business partnership among enterprising locals,” Gozar said further.
DiCorp Chairman Henry Guay informed that his community-based business enterprise composed of 391 genuine Didipio residents, employs some 372 local workers who offer services like food catering for the OGPI Operations and take charge in maintaining the 22-kilometer service road developed by the mining firm from Dibibi, Cabarroguis, Quirino to the Didipio mine site. DiCorp is one of the two top tax-payers in Nueva Vizcaya, next to OceanaGold.
“DiCorp is the best corporate partnership that binds original Didipio dwellers that provides services of world-class standards,” Guay said.
The Didipio Operations employs more than 2,000 mining employees and feed them daily for free from breakfast to dinner.
“We are now part of the big majority benefiting from the gold-copper project in the upland village in terms of job employment. My three girls are now employed. Two of them work for DiCorp and one works for the OGPI operations,” said Rev. Pastor Efren Bulawan of the Lifeway Bible Church.
Bulawan is a mining advocate who describes sustainable development in the upland village since the construction phase of the Didipio Operations.
The mining firm has sent a number of university scholars to college and some have already landed as professionals who are now connected with the company.
The OceanaGold Sustainable Agro-forestry Inc. (OGSAI), the mining firm’s agro-forestry arm has already reforested over 1,300 hectares of land, planted more than 300,000 trees and donated more than 500,000 seedlings in support of the National Greening Program.

“Now that the Didipio Mine is in full-swing, we want to push  sustainable environmental compliance with our advance rehabilitation programs and keep OceanaGold institutionalized as a ‘Green’ environment-friendly mining company,” said OGSAI Chairman Jose Leviste Jr.


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