Beyond profit: Holding Apex Mining and government agencies accountable for the Masara landslide incident (2nd part)


Unstable regions, particularly on very steep terrains such as Masara, are more prone to such hazards. Given the massive human and environmental impacts of mining, it is outrageous that the local population only receives one (1) percent of the company's profits as a royalty.

Financial recompense is inadequate in the face of disasters like the recent landslide in Masara, which killed 85 people as of today.

As confirmed by DENR-MGB 11’s geohazard assessments, Barangay Masara lies in High to Very High Susceptibilities to Landslide, which risks was increased due to the continuous Low-Pressure Area-caused rainfall in February. Despite Masara being declared as a No-Build Zone, Apex Mining continued building their facilities and operations despite the declaration of the DENR-MGB 11. 

Although the landslide area is not actively being operated on, it is still within the premises of Apex Mining's Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA 234-2007 XI).

The continuous operation of Apex mining is extremely questionable given the very high susceptibility of the area to hazards. They cannot claim ignorance about the very critical nature of the area as evidenced by their own reports and the declaration of the DENR-MGB 11.

Furthermore, Apex exemplifies a mining corporation that may seem to adhere to regulations on documents but falls short in actual implementation. The DAO 2000-98 mandated them to establish an emergency response readiness program to address any "reasonably foreseeable industrial and natural disasters". Assuming that they do have such systems implemented, the recent landslide should have been prevented. 

However, they disregarded these regulations and constructed their bus terminal in an area that was officially designated as a NO-BUILD ZONE.

What mining companies fail to understand is no amount of money will ever compensate for the loss of life or the irreversible damage to the environment.

If the DENR-MGB 11 and other relevant agencies responsible for the monitoring and assessment of Apex Mining had performed their duties, this occurrence would have been prevented. It is already well known by the DENR-MGB 11, Apex Mining, and the Local Government Unit that the tenement area is situated in an area with a high to extremely high vulnerability to landslides. 

With this, Apex Mining should not have been granted permission to conduct operations in this area in the first place.

In light of these terrifying facts, immediate and strong measures are required to entirely halt all mining operations in Masara and other similar critical areas. The Local Government Unit (LGU) has made efforts to relocate households. 

However, it is imperative for the LGU to assert their authority to enforce that no one persists in occupying the NO BUILD ZONE and prohibit the expansion of the mining facilities and tenements to protect the welfare of the inhabitants and effectively reduce possible dangers.

Moving forward, Idis calls for increased collaboration between government agencies, civil society organizations, and local communities to develop and implement robust environmental management plans that prioritize the protection of biodiversity, water resources, and human well-being in mining-affected areas. IDIS remains committed to advocating and promoting sustainable development strategies that preserve the principles of environmental preservation and sustainability. 

Contact Persons:


Executive Director



Program Coordinator



Policy Advocacy Officer



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