BY LYN V. RAMO, NORDIS
In another display of people’s unity, indigenous peasant communities and advocates from the middle sector in Kalinga province banded together to put a stop to all corporate mining activities in the province.
TABUK, Kalinga (330 kms, north of Manila) — Indigenous peasant communities and advocates from the middle sector in Kalinga want to put a stop to all corporate mining operations in Kalinga province. The unity was arrived at during a summit held here during the first week of May. The summit also put to task the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) because of its negligence in the issuance of the free, prior informed consent (FPIC) to two exploration applicants covering the ancestral domains of Kalinga tribes.
As of January 31, this year, two exploration permit applications (ExPa) have been approved. The European Wolfland Resources, Inc. EP 0001-2004 covering 496 hectares in Magnao was approved in July 2004 while that of Makilala Mining Co. Inc. EP 003A-2006 with 1494 hectares in Pasil was approved in January this year. Phelps Dodge, an American corporation, reportedly has equity shares with Makilala Mining.
Reports from the regional Mines and Geo-sciences Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (MGB-DENR) in Baguio City show that there are 12 new mining applications in varying stages of completion in Kalinga province. Two of these are applications for financial and technical assistance (AFTA), the rest are exploration permit applications (ExPA). There are no reported applications for mineral production sharing (APSA).
Both undergoing sectoral area clearance, the two AFTA’s by the Patrick Resource Corporation and the Mt. Franz Mining Corporation cover an area of 160,836.6 hectares in Kalinga and Mountain Province. The area subjected to these mining applications is more than half of Kalinga’s total land area of 311,940 hectares.
Wolfland has three other ExPA in Pinukpok (3,240 has.); Balbalan and Tabuk (1,715 has.); and Pasil (1,458 has.) while Makilala has another application in Pasil (1,776).
An ExPA covering 16,000 hectares by Facets Minerals, Inc. (13) was under appeal with the Mines Adjudication Board. That of Cordillera Exploration Co., Inc. (CEXI) (14) covering 15,880 hectares in the Kalinga border with Abra was due for posting and publication. The same company’s ExPA (37) in Kalinga and Apayao covering 9,332 hectares lacked certification from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP). An ExPA by Asia Pacific Basin Inc. (20) covering another 16,000 hectares also in Kalinga and Abra was under evaluation by the regional MGB. Malibato Mining Co., Inc. In Pasil (1715 has) and Odd Resources and Management Corporation in Salegseg and In Madocay Abra (15,522 has) are processing area clearances.
The summit, which gathered some 40 delegates representing peoples’ organizations, religious groups and women and youth sectors formed an ad hoc committee, which would plan an array of activities that include massive information and education campaigns, grassroots organizing, research, documentation, and mass actions all geared towards achieving a corporate mining-free Kalinga. The Kalinga Religious Sector Association (Karsa) organized the mining summit, the third of its kind in Kalinga. Northern Dispatach/ (Bulatlat.com)