Ranking officials of Australia’s OceanaGold Mining (Philippines) Inc. met recently with the firm’s scholars who are currently enrolled at the Nueva Vizcaya State University (NVSU) and Quirino State College (QSC), “to have a dialog with them and to make them aware of the positive contributions of the mining industry to the national and community development programs.”
Eighteen OceanaGold scholars and 30 community members in Barangay Didipio, where the firm’s gold-copper project is located, attended the meeting which was held at the Little Theatre in NVSU in Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya.
The OceanaGold officials present were Bradley Norman, senior vice president; and Joan Adaci-Catiling and Lucy Exconde, vice president for legal affairs and senior manager for sustainability, respectively; and NVSU officials Dr. Edwin Ramon, vice president for academic affairs; and Dr. Evelyn Taban and Gigi Gonzales, campus scholarship coordinators.
For five consecutive years, OceanaGold has been working in partnership with the Didipio Community Development Association Inc. to provide support for education initiatives in Didipio.
The partnership is an important building block for improving opportunities for the local youth scholars and for providing them a stable platform to continue their education through OceanaGold’s scholarship program.
Even before the start of its operation, OceanaGold has assisted a big number of students from Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya provinces by providing them educational assistance and scholarship grants.
“Last year, we spent for our scholarship program some P1.8 million and as of last March this year, our expenditures for the said program, totaled P152,982. Fourteen of our scholars from NVSU and QSU had just finished their courses in agro-forestry, education and tourism. At present, we have 30 scholars at the same universities,” according to Chito Gozar, OceanaGold vice president for communications and external affairs.