LA TRINIDAD, Benguet - Mankayan Mayor Materno Luspian said restoration work for sinking portions of the town will start soon.

Luspian has coordinated with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) for support and funding for the project aimed to make sinking portions usable and safe.

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Luspian said "there are two phases of the project and we are also coordinating with the management of Lepanto."

Mining giant Lepanto Consolidated Mining Corporation has pledged to provide manpower and all the technical support needed for the project.

Luspian said coordination with the company is essential to get the project going. "That is all they can offer since they have been experiencing financial problems," he said.

MGB studies show that ground instabilities within the Poblacion, Mankayan area was first observed in the 1970s and the area is very prone to mass movements due to physical and geological factors. The area is within a fault zone.

Luspian said a canal has to be built to divert surface water to keep the area safe.

Last year the relocation of over 3,000 residents and two school buildings from the sunken Poblacion has saddled the local government for months. Disaster assessments peg that P93 million is needed to relocate residents and structures from the sunken areas to safer grounds. (Ma. Elena Catajan)