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TVI’s Social Commitment Policy is dedicated to exploration and mining practices that promote transparency, responsible stewardship of the environment, and the inalienable rights to life, dignity and sustainable development in our host communities. Policy initiatives and community relations programs are focused on the “Quadrants of Social Development”, Environmental Management and Protection, and Human Resources Development. We adopt the best practices in human rights, health, environment and respect for and development of the host community.
TVI’s four quadrants of development are Responsive Education, Health & Sanitation, Sustainable Livelihood and Infrastructure. We are guided by the United Nations Millennium Development Goals in identifying specific projects such as, but not limited to: water systems, electrification, housing, livelihood projects, road rehabilitation, self-help groups, literacy, as well as vocational, agricultural and technical education.
We subscribe to the principle that education is essential in advancing human rights, gender equity, social justice and a healthy environment in the communities that host our operations. There can be no sustainable future without a responsive and inclusive education system.
In implementing our Responsive Education initiatives as a major component of our Quadrants of Development, we partner with other sectors of society to ensure that programs for the advancement of education are relevant to beneficiaries.
We view education as a lifelong, holistic and inclusive process. That is why our education programs extend to toddlers, through the establishment of daycare centers; children and adolescents, through the building of schools and the provision of teachers, learning tools and instructional equipment; adults, through literacy programs; and parents, through seminars on gender sensitivity and responsible parenthood. We also ensure that affected communities are fully knowledgeable about our operations and activities, as well as about the mining industry in general, by coordinating intensive information-education-communication campaigns. This has resulted in growing positive interest and support from critical stakeholders.
We believe that human dignity is related to health, which, in turn, is not possible without sanitation. By providing both health and sanitation facilities to host and impact communities that previously had no access to these basic services, we have had a positive impact on the well-being and economic productivity of these communities.
We have taken our commitment to Health & Sanitation a step further by setting up a clinic – manned full-time by a doctor, nurse and mid-wife – in Canatuan on a 24/7 basis. Before this clinic opened, ill-stricken residents of the remote mountain villages had to travel at least two hours through inhospitable terrain to get to the nearest hospital. Today, the reverse has happened. Many people from the Siocon town proper now go to Canatuan for medical checkups and treatments.
We have also partnered with the Philippine government and non-government organizations in a regional effort to eradicate lymphatic filariasis, a mosquito-borne parasitic disease endemic in the remote areas of Mindanao. Moreover, we routinely conduct medical missions to far-flung communities on the Zamboanga Peninsula, something previously unheard of in these areas.
The design of our Sustainable Livelihood initiatives under our Quadrants of Development involves an assessment of community assets, adaptive strategies and technologies. This includes the analysis of policies and investment requirements to enhance livelihood opportunities of beneficiaries. We believe that livelihood can be sustainable if it can cope with and recover from stress - such as the end of the mine life - maintain and enhance its capabilities, and provide sustainable opportunities for the next generation.
Our Sustainable Livelihood approach takes into consideration a community's strengths. This approach acknowledges that communities are both catalysts and subjects of change and that they have the strength and knowledge to alter their own situation. This approach places a strong emphasis on sustainability in terms of economics, the environment and the social well-being of people in the community. It uses empowerment rather than welfare, improves the productivity of existing livelihood systems and creates new opportunities on a sustainable basis.
A prime example of this approach is our Farmer-Instructor Technician (FIT) program, a livelihood-through-agroforestry component of our Social Development and Management Plan for the Subanon indigenous people (IP) hosts of TVI in Canatuan. Under FIT, the once semi-nomadic Subanons, who were used to a traditional and destructive slash-and-burn farming method, demonstrated that they can easily adapt to an irrigated multi-cropping scheme using rice terrace farming - the same technology applied by generations of Ifugao IPs in the mountainous terrain of the Northern Philippines.
To further work for the empowerment of our beneficiaries, we will develop indicators to measure the improvements in our host communities’ livelihood systems and the sustainability of these systems.
We recognize the important role that physical infrastructure plays in contributing to economic development; it is clearly a vital prerequisite for continuing prosperity in host communities. We also believe that sustainable development is a goal that emphasizes a long-term and generational perspective, integrating economic, environmental, social and cultural dimensions. As such, we pursue our infrastructure initiatives as one of the Company’s Quadrants of Development, and consider the impact of infrastructure on other aspects of well-being. The underlying belief is that well-conceived infrastructure can make significant improvements in other dimensions of sustainability.
For instance, our participation in the building of bridges and the improvement of roads linking Canatuan to R.T. Lim town in the west and Siocon town in the east has not only helped open economic opportunities for people in Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga Sibugay, but also provided greater access to education and health services that were difficult to come by in previous years. This infrastructure has likewise allowed for better social interaction among the citizens of the Zamboanga Peninsula, a mix of Muslim, Subanon and Christian cultures.
We will continue building infrastructure in the communities where we operate, mindful of its impact on all dimensions of sustainable development.