TO PREVENT further damage from its surrounding areas, the giant sinkhole, which engulfed houses in Itogon, Benguet is being filled with soil and silt.

The 20-meter-wide pit, which swallowed at least seven houses in November last year, is being patched up in preparation for the onset of the monsoon season.

During Monday’s session the Provincial Board presented in its committee report to favorably endorse the resolution filed by the municipality, which requests the management of the Benguet Corporation to act on the task immediately.

In an earlier interview, Itogon Mayor Victorio Palangdan said the sinkhole would at least be filled with 2,000 cubic meters of river soil and silt.

The backfill will be collected and transferred from the Acupan River, according to reports.

Palangdan said a total of 43 local families were told to leave their homes and transfer to relocation areas donated by the mining firm and being developed by the local government.

The LGU classified a land settlement in the sub-villages of Kamangaan and Upper Batuang in Barangay Virac as a danger zone after two portions of a road and mountainside created a crater after the onslaught of Typhoon Lando in October last year.

Meanwhile, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau concluded on April of 2016 the hole was a natural phenomenon caused by Typhoon Lando which poured an equivalent of one month of rain in just one day in Northern Luzon.

Investigation said the concavity was the result of a "pipping gully", an incident when rainwater penetrates natural ground openings and man-made tunnels.

Just after the sinkhole appeared, the group of MGB team, accompanied by representatives from Benguet Corporation and the local government inspected a drain tunnel owned by the mining firm located 90 meters below the sinkhole.

Small-scale miners in the area are also partly blamed with the appearance of sinkhole.

The municipal government has reported it had taken charge of the back filling as well as the rerouting of the Batuang Road, which was swallowed by the pit.

The on-going project is seen to be completed by October if good weather permits.