Itogon mayor wants Philex infra in Balog made permanent
(This was from a January 10, 2013 press release of Philex Mining Corp.)
BENGUET, Philippines — The local government unit (LGU) of Itogon town in this province has expressed interest in enlisting the Balog Creek, whose remediation and rehabilitation is being done by Philex Mining Corp., as part of its ecotourism offering.
This according to Feliciano Diso, Jr., manager of Community Relations Department at Philex Mining’s Padcal Project, who said that Itogon Mayor Oscar Camantiles has sent word requesting that the “infrastructure installed by Philex Mining in the creek be made permanent.”
Diso added that Padcal officials are now making arrangements to meet with the mayor and talk about the matter, and for the latter to visit Balog Creek, which has been affected by the accidental discharge of non-toxic sediment from Padcal’s Tailings Pond No. 3 (TP3) on Aug. 1.
He added that the mayor has expressed interest in Philex Mining’s rehabilitation of Balog Creek after he saw some photos of it.
Philex Mining announced in December 2012 that it already cleaned the silt off of about half of the 2.5-kilometer stretch of Balog Creek, collecting 85,000 bags of silt which have since been hauled off to and kept in temporary storage areas.
The company also said it installed 8 silt traps along the Maligaboy Creek, another tributary of Agno River, to contain silt coming from the upstream. Another silt trap was being constructed at the 2.1-kilometer mark near Balog Creek’s convergence area with Agno River.
In addition, Philex Mining has constructed riprap walls in designated areas, and improving access to and along the waterway by constructing footpaths on rugged terrain and building hanging bridges and elevated pathways down the creek.
Itogon, known for its rugged terrain and cooler climes, holds an annual 3-day traverse of Mt. Ugo every March. This allows camping and trekking enthusiasts to walk for three days starting from Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya up to Itogon, Benguet.
This annual event is sponsored by Philex Mining and organized by the Department of Tourism in the Cordillera Administrative Region, in cooperation with Itogon-LGU.
Philex Mining has been implementing a remediation and rehabilitation program for Balog Creek and its convergence area with Agno River since the Aug. 1 accident, which followed heavy rains brought about by typhoons. (There were no reports of casualties or injuries.)
This would require the company to spend at least P1 billion between Aug. 2012 and Apr. 2013, including the rehabilitation of its TP3, particularly the building of an open spillway to replace the pond’s current penstock system of draining non-toxic water into Balog Creek through an underground tunnel.