COUNCILOR Art Allad-iw wants no minining in Loakan communities.
The alderman is asking President Rodrigo Duterte through Environment Secretary Gina Lopez to invalidate exploration permits issued to Golden Era Mining Corporation, which he alleged as dubious.
The exploration permit cover over 448 hectares spanning Baguio and Itogon, Benguet which covers Kias, Happy Hollow, Loakan Apugan and Atok Trail.
“The barangays covered by the permit are the areas where the city has its forest covers thereby contributing and maintaining the cool climate of Baguio City,” Allad-iw said.
Allad-iw said the exploration permits were given by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau on March 30, 2016 despite opposition, adding the permits came before hurried consultations made in the areas on December of the same year.
Allad-iw said most residents in the area have a Certificate of Ancestral Domain Land Titles issued by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), which bans any exploration without community consultation.
“There was no full blown consultation as required by Administrative Order No. 3 or the Revised Guidelines on the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) and Related Processes issued by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples and as such, no Certification Pre-condition (CP) was ever issued by the NCIP,” said Allad-iw.
Allad-iw added for areas not covered by ancestral domain or land claims, there are no prior consultations done as required by the Local Government Code.
The NCIP provides sacred grounds and burial sites of indigenous communities, identified international and local cultural and heritage sites, critical areas identified or reserved by the ICCs/IPs for special purposes and other areas specifically identified by ICCs/IPs in their ADSDPPs are excluded from any activity except for the exclusive purposes for which they are identified.
Allad-iw added the other four barangays in the city within the coverage of the exploration permit were not also consulted previously as required by the Local Government Code.
Golden Era Mining Corporation headed by Wilfredo Cu has obtained a permit effective for two years and is renewable but not to exceed a total term of four years for non-metallic mineral exploration or six years for metallic mineral exploration.