By: Raymon Dullana
Published: September 11, 2016- 12:53 Pm
TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- Nueva Vizcaya Governor Carlos Padilla reiterated his stance against mining, launching another tirade against a large scale mining in the province.
In a dialogue with pro-mining and anti-mining groups on Tuesday, September 6, Padilla said the benefits they are receiving from the Australian mining firm OceanaGold Philippines Inc. (OGPI) are just temporary.
“The benefits we get from mining are only temporary…the lives of people in Kasibu [town] are not worth the money OGPI owes to the province,” Padilla said, referring to the supposed P130 million debt of the OGPI to the province.
The OGPI operates an open pit mine in Didipio village in Kasibu town. They are producing tons of copper and gold yearly.
Padilla said that they are not going to be dependent in the mining industry and are now “strengthening and enhancing the tourism and agricultural industry.”
According to Engr. Edgardo Sabado, provincial planning and development officer, the Nueva Vizcaya provincial government is designing a developmental framework to support and provide alternatives for the constituents affected and benefited by mining in the province
“We will not be dependent on mining but on other industries…tourism can give more benefit than mining and agriculture can last for a thousand years but mining can only last for 25 years,” Padilla added.
Padilla had earlier said that he is “absolutely” against mining.
He has met with environment Secretary Gina Lopez to ask for the cancellation of the renewal of exploration permit of OGPI, which has a standing extension permit of exploration period granted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Mines and GeoSciences Bureau (MGB) under its Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) from March until 2021.
He said that Nueva Vizcaya should be protected since it is a major tributary of the major dams in Luzon, including the Ambuklao, Magat, San Roque, Pantabangan, Casecnan, Binga dams. Previously published in Rappler.com/TNF
Photo courtesy of Sean Hawkey