The search for survivors continues at the ground zero of the landslide. Alongside this, the APEX Welfare Desk Helpline stationed at the Nuevo Iloco National High School in Mawab (Davao de Oro) also provides assistance to the affected residents by helping them get information on their missing loved ones.
“The company is deeply saddened by this tragedy and we can only imagine the pain that the families of the missing and the dead are going through,” says Luis R. Sarmiento, ASEAN Eng, President and CEO of Apex Mining.
Sarmiento says the company is currently focusing its manpower and resources on fully supporting the provincial government with its relief operations. Since the slide, the company has been providing food packs, drinking water and medical services to the affected communities. Talks have also been initiated with the Department of Social Welfare and Development for experts on handling psycho-social trauma to provide counseling to those who need it.
Following the landslide that hit Barangay Masara in Davao de Oro on 06 Feb., all the shuttle services of the company (four buses and one jeep) waiting for the outgoing employees where the landslide happened have been accounted for: one bus arrived at its destination (Mawab, Davao de Oro) with all passengers safe; the three buses and the jeepney have been found at ground zero of the landslide.
Apex Mining has been closely coordinating with the Office of Representative Ruwel Peter Gonzaga, whose office serves as the command center of the government’s response team.
“In this difficult time, we see the Filipino spirit of malasakit shine through with other companies in the metals and mining sector offering to help.” Sarmiento adds all offers are assistance are coordinated with the command center.
Since the slide happened, Apex Mining’s ERTs have been working with the government’s rescuers and ERTs of other companies (contractors and the like) in the search and rescue operations, deploying its heavy equipment and rescue gear to
augment the local government’s resources. The EOD K9 Unit of the Philippine National Police now does a sweep before operations of various equipment start.
Apex Mining is also assisting the Mines and Geosciences Bureau and the Environmental Management Bureau (both under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources) in their information gathering by regularly submitting aerial video footage of the landslide area for monitoring and evaluation purposes.
Meanwhile, the company is very grateful for the support that has started to pour in from the industry (mining companies, suppliers, etc.) such as donations (ex. food for
the communities affected by the landslide) as well as deployment of emergency response teams and GPR (ground penetrating radar).