A TOP official of Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) in Eastern Visayas has vowed close monitoring of MacArthur Iron Sand Project Corp. (MIPC) in Leyte amid mounting criticism in its operation.
“With my remaining time in the region, I have to see that rehabilitation (of the mining area),” said MGB Regional Director Leo Van Juguan in response to the apprehension aired by anti-mining groups in MacArthur town led by parish priest Fr. Amadeo Alvero.
While Juguan admitted that MIPC operation is one of the priority mining projects approved by the National Government to help the country’s economy due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, he said he is also concerned with the town’s food security.
“Right now, the challenge is to show it in the field. Let’s give them a chance to show it,” Juguan told reporters, as the MIPC management also announced its “progressive rehabilitation” plan during a hearing with the Provincial Board members last week.
Januar Ong, MIPC community relations officer, said they hope to see the production of crops in the mined out field in their pilot site “by next quarter.”
Ong said they have partnered with the farm owners in the rehabilitation of their farmlands.
He reiterated that they will not leave any hole unfilled in their mining area for black sand in Barangay Maya, MacArthur.
MIPC had already mined out four of the seven hectares leased to them as a pilot site.
Ong also assured the farm owners of sustainable production in their land.
“We discouraged them to sell their land to us. We only want to lease it and return it to them afterward,” said Ong, adding that they want to “compensate” the economic losses being experienced by the farmers in their field.
MIPC is reportedly investing P500 million for its mining operation in Leyte. (SunStar Philippines)