October 1, 2023

ITOGON, Benguet – The adoption of a no mining policy in the province to preserve and protect the environment and delineate the uses of limited land area for development is being advocated in the province.
Mayor Victorio Palangdan, one of the primary advocates of the no mining policy, cited the current state of the municipality – its mountains mined out and indigenous peoples displaced from their ancestral domain.
The town is host to large-scale mining companies.
Palangdan said in the 1980s, Itogon thrived on rice farming alone. But after more than three decades of mining, rice production dwindled, which affected one of the major sources of livelihood of the community. This compelled people to abandon farming and shift to mining.
Only barangays Tinongdan and Dalupirip plant rice but production is not even enough for the consumption of its residents.
Palangdan acknowledges that mining contributed to the development of communities in Itogon, Tuba, and Mankayan, but its effect on the environment left a greater impact.
He said the damage to the environment resulted to scarcity of water supply, deforestation, and increase in the number of geo-hazard areas.
Palangdan said the present generation of IPs could not afford to pass on to the new generations a ravaged environment.
He called on concerned government agencies and local governments to give premium to activities that are environmentally sound such as agri-tourism and eco-tourism which can help bring back the greenery of the province’s environment.
Itogon is one of the five first-class municipalities in the province that rely on mining as its biggest source of internal revenue.
But Palangdan said Benguet already had enough of its share of destructions to the environment that is why efforts to enhance efforts to preserve and protect the environment are paramount. – Press release