by Tyrone A. Velez
DAVAO CITY, Philippines– It’s a race to stop mining in Davao’s hinterland, said City Councilor Danny Dayanghirang who intends to file resolutions to firm up the city’s stand against large-scale mining.
In a press conference at Kapehan sa SM, Dayanghirang said the Council needs to firm up a resolution in the next two weeks before it’s too late to oppose the entry of two mining companies in Paquibato district, this city.
Otherwise, “(M)aybe we will wake up and see the companies excavating the mountains,” noted Dayanghirang, who chaired the Council’s committee on environment and who held a hearing on this matter last Monday.
The councilor said he has checked with Mines and Geosciences Bureau 11 and confirmed that Albertos Mining applied for an 8,400-hectare exploration in Paquibato, while Pensons Mining applied for 8,100 hectares in Malabog (also in Paquibato).
But another company, MRC Allied Inc., reportedly owned by tobacco magnate Lucio Tan, has also applied for a permit, according to leaders of the Paquibato District Peasant Association (PADIPA).
PADIPA members trooped to the City Council during last week’s session to denounce what they call “military harassments” due to the entry of these mining firms.
Barangay captains from Lumiad, Mapula, Salapawan and Tapak expressed their opposition to the mining operations during the Council’s committee hearing.
They also claimed they were misinformed by the companies into signing a memorandum of agreement since they were told that the companies would only conduct explorations in the area.
Dayanghirang said he will urge the Council to pass a resolution to oppose the two companies’ entry into Paquibato.
Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, who presides the City Council, has recommended the crafting of an ordinance to declare the city a mining-free zone.
Paolo’s father Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and sister Sara, who was the city’s former mayor, both expressed opposition to mining in Davao City, citing the impact it will bring to the environment. (Tyrone A. Velez/ davaotoday.com)anti-mining, danny dayanghirang, davao city council, duterte, environment, mining