Baguio dad wants mining exploration permit invalidated

Mar 4, 2017

To save one of the remaining forest cover and environs of Baguio as well as some areas of neighbouring municipality of Itogon in Benguet, Baguio Councilor Arthur Allad-iw passed a resolution before the city council earnestly requesting President Rodrigo Duterte through the environmental chief Gina Lopez to invalidate an exploration permit which he said is a dubious one.
Allad-iw said that an exploration permit dated March 30, 2016, covering an area of more or less 448 hectares was issued to Golden Era Mining Corporation by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Cordillera. He said that five barangays of Baguio namely Atok Trail, Kias, Happy Hallow, Loakan and Apugan and neighbouring Gumatdang of Itogon, Benguet are to be affected by the said permit.
The councilor said that the issuance of permit did not undergo proper process. He said that the areas are part of indigenous communities of Baguio and Benguet. He explained that under existing rules, before an exploration permit is issued, the MGB shall first endorse the same permit to the regional office of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) that has jurisdiction over the area where the plan, project, program or activity is sought to be undertaken for the issuance of a Certification Precondition certifying that the project proponent has complied with the consultation requirements if project site is within ancestral domain or land. He said a Certification of Non-Overlap attesting that the area where the particular project will be done does not overlap with, or affect any ancestral domain.
Allad-iw also said there was even no full blown consultation as required by Administrative Order numbered 3 or the Revised Guidelines on the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) and related processes issued by the NCIP. He said that no certification of Pre-Condition was ever issued by the NCIP. He also mentioned a joint resolution of the barangay officials of Happy Hallow, the officers and members of the Happy Hollow Indigenous Peoples Organization (HHIPO) and the representatives of different Ibaloy (IPs of Baguio and Benguet) clans opposing the mining exploration permit application of Golden Era on November 2016. He said this was not looked upon by the MGB before issuing the permit.
He said that the exploration will eventually affect the environment and climate of Baguio. “The barangays covered by the permit are the areas where Baguio has its forest covers thereby contributing and maintaining the cool climate of the City,” he stressed. Aldwin Quitasol / ABN

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