Tublay folks file petition vs mining

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Thursday, May 1, 2014


LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Tublay folk is opposing mining activities at Barangay Ambassador.

A petition made by Tublay residents laments the operations of Engineer Andy Payoyo at the Batching Plant at the old underground tunnel of Sto. Nino Mines.

The petition said the operations of Payoyo do not have a permit to operate any large or small scale mining activity.

“They proceeded to extract sacks of copper ore at the old tunnel to the extent of doing blasting activities to make sure of producing their quota at their discretion to the prejudice of the community and people living therein,” the petition added.

The petition was submitted to the Provincial Board this week and implores officials to issue a cease and desist order in stopping all mining activities in the area.

Tublay has been known as a mining town for the operations of Sto. Nino Mines in the area, until the operations ceased in the 80s.

Residents claimed the operations of various entities looking for copper reserves would sacrifice the waterlines if mining operations continue in the area compromising the supply of the community.

The local council likewise issued a resolution opposing small scale mining activities in the area.

"We are still recovering from the ill effects of mining operations in the area making it susceptible to life again," residents claim.

Today Tublay folk oppose the new activity, saying "The destruction of remaining watershed areas resulting to water scarcity in Sitio Sto. Nino has suffered so much during the operation of the mines notwithstanding the socio economic benefits derived from the mines."

Residents claim there was no community consultations conducted in the operations of Payoyo, alleging workers are being paid P350 a day to work at the tunnels saying permission from the provincial and local governments have been obtained.

The petition said, "The community residents of Sito Sto. Nino is aiming for the preservation of its remaining water source irrigating its agricultural land, other livelihood activities and household needs."

According to records of the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources, there were 26 small scale mining applicants in 2009 to which only two were issued permits.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on May 02, 2014.

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