CALABARZON’s overall production of non-metallic commodities has fallen by 50% in the 2nd quarter of CY 2020 compared to the previous quarter of the same year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mining operations were suddenly halted by the Enhanced Community Quarantine enacted on March 16, 2020, and only resumed in the middle of May 2020.

The mining industry was not spared from the threat of the Coronavirus early on in 2020. Aggregates, one of the mineral commodities produced most in the region, experienced a sharp decrease in production in the 2nd quarter. Only 180,843.79 m3 valued at Php78 million was produced, which is equivalent to about 60% of the production in the 1stquarter of the same year. Other commodities such as, Sand and Gravel, Marbleized Limestone, Gabbro, Pozzolan, Silica, Volcanic Tuff, and filling materials have drastically lower production numbers as well, ranging from a percent decrease of 54% to 94%. A few other commodities such as Limestone and Shale, which are the main components in cement manufacture, experienced only a slight decrease with 24% and 37%, respectively.

Despite this, the mining operators and contractors still redirected their unutilized SDMP funds in response to the MGB Memorandum dated March 27, 2020 to help in the relief efforts in their respective host and neighboring communities. Some companies have gone beyond their allotted budgets to be able to give out food packs, vitamins, and cash assistance to thousands of families in the region. Other forms of assistance were also given such as hygiene kits and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) not only for frontliners but also to individual households. A thermal imager was even donated to the LGU of Angono, Rizal, which efficiently utilized the gadget by installing it at their Public Market.

Mining was one of the industries allowed by the Inter-Agency Task Force on May 2020 to be able to operate amidst the upcoming quarantine, which was the General Community Quarantine then, to boost the Philippine economy in its struggle due to the pandemic. Shortly after, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau released Memorandum No. 2020-004,or the “Guidelines/Protocols for the Resumption of Mining and Mineral Processing Operations During the General Community Quarantine or New Normal”. These health protocols are still being followed up to this day.

Non-metallic production data in the 2nd Quarter of CY 2020 in Region IV CALABARZON.

Provision of food packs from(a) LafargeHolcim Aggregates, Incorporated (LHAI) (Operator of Concrete Aggregates Corp. in MPSA No. 032-95-IV and 055-96-IV) in Angono, Rizal; and(b) First Ridge Concrete Aggregates Corporation (FRCAC) in Sariaya, Quezon.

Turn-over of Thermal Unit from LafargeHolcim Aggregates, Inc. to the LGU of Angono, Rizal.

By: Patrizia S. Benedicto           |          7 September 2020