Compostela farmers, local gov't oppose mining exploration
MANILA, Philippines – Farmers and the local government of Compostela town are against to the entry of a mining corporation because of the environmental damage it will cause in the area.
Bilo Tindasan, chairperson of the Compostela Farmers Association, said that the mining exploration permit for the Agusan Petroleum and Mineral Corporation (Agpet) covers 12,444 hectares in Compostela town.
The mining exploration, Tindasan said, will affect a huge portion of the ancestral land of the Mandaya and Mangwanon tribes in the village of Ngan.
"Barangay Ngan of Compostela, Compostela Valley, has a mountainous area consisting of Purok 20 to Purok 28, all of which is covered by Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) No. R11-NEW-0204-019 and covers some 15,000 plus hectares of the Mandaya and Mangwanon Tribe," Tindasan said.
Since June 18, farmers mounted a human barricade to stop the transport of machinery and equipment of the corporation in a major road in Barangay Ngan.
Tindasan said that the village council has already issued a resolution entitled “Resolution Petitioning the Agusan Petroleum and Mineral Corporation to Pull-out in Barangay Ngan, Compostela, Compostela Valley Province” on March 20, which was followed by a resolution to cancel the exploration permit issued by the town council, and approved by Mayor Lema Bolo.
"The said resolution which was signed by Compostela Mayor, Hon. Lema P. Bolo declared AGPET to get out from our ancestral lands," Tindasan said.
Despite the resolutions, the company allegedly continued its plans to explore the mineral resources in the area.
Tindasan explained that the villagers fear the adverse effects of any extractive economic activities in their town as it may cause another Typhoon Pablo-like disaster.
"Being survivors of Typhoon Pablo, CFA believes that AgPet will destroy their forests and mountains which will eventually result to massive floods," Tindasan said,
Tindasan added that they also fear that mining activities will displace at least 1,200 families within the area covered by the mining exploration permit. – Rappler.com