June 24, 2024

ITOGON, Benguet – Mayor Victorio T. Palangdan vowed to push for the adoption of a no mining policy in the province to help in sustaining the efforts of government agencies and local government units in preserving and protecting the environment.
Palangdan said the municipality that served as host to the operation of large-scale mining companies suffered from massive environmental destruction and displacement of indigenous peoples from their ancestral domain.
He said in the ‘80s, Itogon was self-sufficient because of the rice produced by the farmers, but after more than three decades of the operation of mining companies, rice production dwindled and agriculture that served as one of the major sources of livelihood of the people was also affected.
Only barangays Tinongdan and Dalupirip remain as rice producers, but produce is barely enough for the people in these villages.
He said while mining contributed to the development of various communities in Itogon, Tuba, and Mankayan, the enormous damage to the environment in these areas are evident.
Damage to the environment resulted in scarcity of water supply, massive deforestation, and increase in the number of geo-hazard areas due to underground activities, among other hazards.
Palangdan said the current generation of IPs could not afford to pass to the next generations a ravaged environment.
He said it is high time for concerned government agencies and local government units to give premium to productive activities that are environmentally-sound, such as agri-tourism.
Itogon is one of the five first-class municipalities in Benguet that rely on mining as its source of revenue.
Palangdan said the province had already enough of its share of destructions to the environment that is why efforts to enhance the ongoing efforts to preserve and protect the province’s state of environment should be one of the primordial issues that must be given attention by the concerned government agencies. – Press release