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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Mining threatens 2 protected areas in Davao Oriental

SAN ISIDRO -- Mining operations in Barangay Macambol, Mati City, Davao Oriental threaten two wildlife and marine protected areas, the Pujada Bay and Mt. Hamiguitan.

Davao Oriental Governor Nelson Dayanghirang, in a speech during last Tuesday’s Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) landmark lantern lighting ceremony at the Mount Hamiguitan World Heritage Park in San Isidro, Davao Oriental, said he wants to permanently suspend operations of Asiaticus Management Corp.'s (Amcor) Mining Corporation, the mining firm behind the Pujada Nickel Project.

“We already filed a complaint against the firm to former environment secretary Gina Lopez, and luckily their Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) was suspended last year,” he said in an interview.

Dayanghirang, however, said he wanted to permanently suspend the permit operations, not just the ECC. At present, the firm is still in the site but operations were temporarily stopped. Some of the equipment of the mining firm, Dayanghirang said, was burned by the New People’s Army (NPA).

“We continue to monitor the area,” Dayanghirang said. He underscored that the Provincial Government discourages mining operations in the province.

“We already have a provincial ordinance passed during former Governor, now representative Corazon Malanyaon time and we want to strictly implement that, we want to position Davao Oriental as a “mining-free” province,” he said.

Also, another mining issue was reported in Banaybanay town, wherein Dayanghirang said, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB)-Davao awarded a bid to a firm to mine minerals without informing the local government unit.

“The problem here is that, the approval will not be here in the local level, always in the national level. My point is how come they had inspections and explorations in the area without informing the locals. It’s a property of Davao Oriental and Banaybanay,” Dayanghirang said.

On Wednesday, August 9, Dayanghirang called for meeting with Banaybanay officials and officials from MGB-Davao to discuss the matter.

Dayanghirang is also set to meet with environment secretary Roy Cimatu to discuss with environment issues in the province especially mining.
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