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CCC stands by employees, extends help to affected families
By: Vanessa Almeda | Published Thursday, December 31, 2020
A portion of the Biga pit that collapsed.

Carmen Copper Corporation (CCC) is standing by its employees and their families in this period of grief.  The company has also exhausted all means to find those who are still missing.

Amidst the noise hurled against the company, CCC is not remiss in its obligation and commitment to its people who are part of the CCC family.

Since the unfortunate incident, CCC has silently responded to the calls of the people, including families within the danger zone.

Contrary to reports, Carmen Copper provided financial assistance to the missing persons’ families who are residents of Barangay Biga. 

The assistance was coursed through the Toledo City Social Welfare Office since all efforts by CCC to reach out to the families has been prevented by the Barangay Biga Chairman.

Last December 21, a portion of the Biga Pit collapsed, claiming the lives of four miners. Six are still missing while some were injured. 

In a statement, CCC said search operations are ongoing with the help of the Philippine Coast Guard. To help speed up the search, CCC deployed the use of sonar technology for water search, and K9 dogs on land. 

CCC assured that the families of the missing employees are briefed daily, as well as the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) and the Toledo City Mayor’s Office.

The company continues to attend to their needs and welfare by providing financial and psychological support, the statement further added.

For the families of those who perished, the company is providing support for the education of all their children until college and will provide employment for the immediate family or the next of kin. The same will also be provided to the family of the missing individuals. 

Even though mining operations have been temporarily halted, the salaries of its employees continue.

CCC has also committed its full and utmost cooperation in the ongoing investigation of the MGB.

Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, for her part, said the Province will wait for the result of the MGB’s investigation before making a move.

“The investigation, that’s not our expertise nor is that our mandate. MGB has already suspended operations and MGB is going to undertake the investigation. So, let’s put things in proper perspective. While the investigation is ongoing, perhaps it is best to wait for the results,” the governor said. 

Garcia also cautioned those who reportedly use the incident to push some personal agenda. 

The governor said she is not taking sides but “there are some personalities that are not as objective because they have their own interest in Carmen Copper. They want to control so that they can do business with Carmen Copper. So this is a warning to those who want to make it difficult.”

She said CCC mining operations have helped Toledo City recover from being a “ghost town” after Atlas Mining closed. It provided jobs and economic opportunities for the people and the entire city.

Garcia added that the Province is extending help to the families of miners who died and those who remain missing. 

Meanwhile, CCC disclosed that the MGB already allowed them to perform immediately part of its risk reduction management plan to ensure safety measures in stabilizing the northern Pit wall of Carmen Pit. 

“We will carry this out with much care and expediency given the conditions still present in the area. We will ensure that we follow job safety procedures for our stabilization teams working,” the statement read. 

The company also dispelled doubts that it has been remiss in its rehabilitation efforts since the mining operations were resumed under a new management. 

“It is unfortunate that the selfish interests of some personalities have made some tasks complex and difficult and even led to the delays in the rehabilitation measures,” the statement said.

CCC said Biga Barangay Captain Pedro Sepada, Jr. has on many occasions interfered with the approved rehabilitation plan set by the MGB. 

“His constant and numerous protestations on what he wants the company to do despite him having no authority and expertise on the technical and safety aspects as provided by the MGB has been a major challenge for us,” the statement further read.

But inspite this setback, CCC said it will continue with its rehabilitation efforts and appealed to Sepada “to stop disrupting our efforts in making sure that we ensure the safety of everyone and avoid another incident such as this.” (Vanessa Almeda with reports from Mylen Manto)