15,600-hectare concession awaiting okay of City Hall, NCIP
BY ROGER M. BALANZA
A mining company has applied to explore gold and copper in about 15,660 hectares in Marilog District in Davao City.
The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) in Region Eleven, in its website, said the application of Mambusao Mining Corporation has already been endorsed to the Davao City government and the National Commission for Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) for their recommendation and comment.
The Mambusao Mining application is numbered EXPA 000116-XI as recorded in the list of applications with the MGB XI.
The application, covering 15,660 hectares was filed in 2005 and published in the newspaper in 2008
MGB’s last posting on Mambusao indicated it has been endorsed to the local government and NCIP in 2010.
But the Mambusao project may not push through with both Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and her father Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte warning that the local government would not allow mining in the city.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and MGB are aware of the local government’s posiition on mining that it will never be allowed here, said city planning officer Roberto Alabado when asked to comment on the application.
Alabado also said a pending bill in the House of Representatives authored by Davao City Third District Congressman Isidro Ungab would serve as another stumbling block to the Mambusao application.
The Ungab bill would declare Davao City as a “No Mining Zone.”
The Dutertes’ position on mining and the Ungab proposed bill are not the only mountains that Mambusao must subdue to secure a nod from government.
The communist New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the leftist National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDPF), the umbrella of all leftist organizations, had made public statements against mining in Davao City.
The NPA has a heavy presence in Marilog and nearby Paquibato, where the NPA Pulang Bagani Command under Kumander Leoncio “Parago” Pitao is based.
Vice Mayor Duterte said earlier said that the Davao City Council, where he is the presiding officer, would shoot down any request for mining projects in the city.
He said mineral resources in the city should be treated as a”piggy bank” for future Dabawenyos. He adds that mining may be allowed in the city in future when perfected technologies that would prevent accidents and threats to ennvironment and people are already available.
For her part, Mayor Duterte said mining could not bring economic benefits to ordinary people. She also noted shaky peacee and order situations in areas with mining operations. She said mining poses grave threats to the environment.
The Dutertes bared their position on mining amid a flood of foreign investments pouring into the city.
Accordingly, some of the investors signified intentions to explore and mine minerals in Marilog and Paquibato, located upland of the city.
The Mambusao mining application has surfaced as sitio Ladian in Marilog was hit by a landslide that killed a 10-year old girl and prompted the local government to order the relocation of residents, mostly inndigenous people of the Matigsalog tribe,
The NDFP assailed the relocation order of Mayor Duterte, and tied the government action to alleged landgrabbing of ancestral domain in Marilog and to the Mambusao mining application, despite the publicly announced position against mining of the Dutertes.
In a press statement emailed to the Durian Post, Rubi del Mundo,
NDFP-Southern Mindanao spokesman, said the “relocation of Matigsalog Lumad victims and declaration of hazardous areas in the wake of the landslides in sitio Ladian, Brgy. Marilog will be more beneficial to landgrabbing CADT holders and big mining corporations.”
A contagious area of over 120,000 hectares in Davao City, Bukidnon and
North Cotabato had been declared as ancestral domain by NCIP and awarded to the Kitaotao, Bukidnon-based Federation of Manobo-Matigsalog
Tribal Councils (FEMMATRICS) under Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) No. R-10-KIT 0703-0011. More than half of the area covered by the title is located in Davao City.
Del Mundo said the relocation was aimed to clear the way for the Mabusao operation.
“Areas declared by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau as geo-hazardous are also areas opened by its head office, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, to mining corporations such as the Mambusao Mining Corporation. The areas of sitio Mabuhay, Salumay, Namnam and East Marahan in Brgy. Marilog are being eyed by the same firm for its gold and copper mining operations covering 15,660 hectares, ” said del Mundo.
The communist spokesman also said “opportunist” tribal leaders have been selling ancestral domain lands under CADT No. R-10-KIT 0703-0011 to big business.
Wholesale landgrabbing of ancestral lands for private ownership by (tribal leaders) are facilitated by the National Commission in Indigenous Peoples and paramilitary (indigenous people), said del Mundo.
“By all means, the masses should be protected from the natural calamities. But for them to be displaced from supposed perilous sites and to find their lands exploited by mining operations and landgrabbing Lumad clans, is indeed, the height of deceit, opportunism and oppression, said the rebel spokesman.