BENGUET officials has called out Northern Cement Corporation (NCC)to submit their survey following claims from the Municipality of Tuba that the firm is operating within the town’s jurisdiction.
This developed after the province of Pangasinan asserted their jurisdiction in Sitio Saguitlang, Barangay Laboyug, Sison through a provincial resolution in response to the Tuba resolution requesting proper government agencies “to deliver it’s share in the utilization of natural resources in its area by the NCC”. Authored by Pangasinan board members Rosary Gracia Perez- Tababa and Clemente Arboleda, the resolution strongly endorses and supports the local government unit of Sison, Pangasinan in emphasizing the territorial jurisdiction of the municipality over sitio Saguitlang.
“That is understandable because they are also protecting their interest, but we should also assert our claim but the burden is within us, we must prove that it is within the province of Benguet,” said Philippine Councilors League-Benguet president and board member Nestor Fongwan Jr., who chairs the committee on land use and environment and natural resources.
A Joint Committee meeting will be conducted to deliberate on the issue concerning the equitable share from the utilization of national wealth extracted from Tuba.
Alfredo Ballesteros Jr., the Environmental Management Unit Manager of NCC is expected to grace the provincial board meeting on November 13 to apprise and enlighten Benguet officials on the approved Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) of the corporation containing an area of 630. 4978 hectares.
NCC has been paying extraction fees, real property taxes and mining taxes yearly to Sison, Pangasinan.
Recently, the Tuba Municipal Council have penned a resolution urging the cement corporation to pay its shares in mineral extraction.
The provincial board of Benguet meanwhile said the certification of the approved political boundary survey (CAD-656-D) in 2008 defines a portion of the NCC operation within the municipality of Tuba and are entitled from the cement firm’s the national wealth tax, provincial permit fee, real property taxes, and the Free, Prior and Informed consent (FPIC) under the IPRA law.
Board Member Florencio Bentrez said if there are no hopes for settlement for both municipalities of Tuba and Sison, there is a need to conduct public hearing.
“The boundary of Tuba it is already established, while Sison just came in with their approved cadastrial survey from Region One which was not consulted to Cordillera Administrative Region,” said Bentrez.
“Tuba can no longer adjust because it is already an established boundary. We followed the boundary as prescribed under the creation of Tuba. We based it on tripoint of Pangasinan,La Union,and Benguet,” added Bentrez, who was the town’s former mayor.