Public forum on mining slated

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Thursday, May 29, 2014


LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- A public forum on small-scale mining is set on Saturday, gathering stakeholders in Itogon.

The gathering is aimed to highlight the state of small-scale mining in the town as well as in the province.

The forum will be attended by National Commission for Indigenous People commissioner Zeniada Pawid to give updates on land ownership of occupied small scale mining sites with NCIP legal officer John Libiran and Regional Director Amador Batay-an.

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Representatives from Philex mining headed by legal officer Eduardo Aratas and Benguet Corporation Midge De Leon will be present during the Saturday forum at the Itogon Gym.

Itogon Mayor Victorio Palangdan will also be present to represent the local government unit with its concerns on the state of small-scale mining in the town.

Dr. Erlinda Palaganas of the University of the Philippines will discuss the effects of mining on health while Itogon municipal health officer Oliver Guadana will give a situationer on health issues of SSM areas of the town.

A discussion on the evolution of mining laws will be tackled by Lomino Kaniteng, president of the Small Scale Miners Federation of the Benguet.

Last week, Governor Nestor Fongwan said there is a need for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to cancel idle mining claims to be able to start to put into place the plight SSM here.

At present, there are at least 200,000 SSM operations here with 66 associations established, all trying to make a living out of the highlands.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on May 30, 2014.

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