‘Take away any one of the actors in this story of leadership and there would have been no project.’
I HAD the honor of representing Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC), its subsidiaries, and especially its President and CEO Martin Antonio (Dennis) Zamora at last Wednesday’s blessing and inauguration of the Philippine Red Cross RT-PCR lab in Surigao City.
Guest of honor at the event was PRC chair and CEO Sen. Richard J. Gordon, and he was accompanied by top officials of the province led by Vice Gov. Geed Gokiangkee (representing Gov. Francisco T. Matugas), Cong. Francisco Jose F. Matugas II and Surigao City Mayor Ernesto U. Matugas Jr. Also present was Surigao State College of Technology (SSCT) President Dr. Gregorio Gamboa Jr., who made available a 10- hectare property in the city’s Barangay Bonifacio along the national highway for the site of the lab. National and provincial PRC officials were also present, including PRC Molecular Laboratory Director Dr. Paulyn Rosell-Ubial.
The lab was “six months in the making.” It was first conceived in June of last year when Dennis Zamora asked me and Atty. Ryan Jornada how NAC could do something bigger for our mining communities, especially in Surigao, currently the heart of the country’s mining industry. After a quick call to Sen. Gordon, the idea of a first MTL lab to be donated by a mining company was born. It was costly – some P18 million – and so Dennis tapped the fund of Taganito Mining Corporation (TMC) and Cagdianao Mining Corproation (CMC) and then contacted Masahiro Kamiya, president of Taganito HPAL Nickel Corporation, the $1.6B nickel ore processing plant next to TMC in the town of Claver. Kamiya-san readily agreed to provide the bulk of the funding. (NAC has a 10% interest in THPAL).
The issue now was location. Here, both Gordon and Gov. Lalo Matugas took charge, with one and then another potential site evaluated and then discarded. Then the property of SSCT became available, but it required approval by the state college’s board and then by CHED. With Gordon in the lead, assisted by Gov. Matugas and SSCT Pres. Gambia, the approval was obtained.
Finally, Gov. Matugas tapped the mining community of the province to aid in the land preparation, and after one delay in the schedule of the blessing, the event finally pushed through last Wednesday. It was apt that Vice Gov. Gokiangkee was present to represent the governor inasmuch as his municipality of Claver is the heart of the mining industry in Surigao del Norte.
Take away any one of the actors in this story of leadership and there would have been no project.
True leadership delivers.