Monday, May 25, 2009

Silica mining in Brgy Laguit Padilla, Bugallon, Pangasinan

I was informed by our caretaker that the mining company of Mr. Versoza, Northern Mining I think, is planning to resume their silica quarring and mining activity in the barangay soon. Two weekends ago, a representative from their company, along with the barangay officials, called for a meeting the owners and/or caretakers of private lands where their bulldozers and heavy trucks will pass by.

I texted Brgy. Captain Palma last May 20, about 9am, to ask what is the update of such plan since the company of Mr. Versoza has not talked to the owners of the farm, Atty. Millora. Kapitan Palma texted back saying that they have not given their endorsement yet, the permit will require MOA by the barangay and approval by the municipal council. I thanked Kapitan Palma for such update, and informed him that I will blog this activity since I have a number of friends here in the country and abroad, who are engaged in farming and environmental activities, and they read my blog.

Kapitan Palma replied back and assured me that before they will give their endorsement, there should be proper consultation and permission by the affected parties (especially private farms), that no one will complain later.

Bringing whatever adverse results to the land and the communities to local media can also be one option. The local radio and tv network in Dagupan City are willing to cover such expose when they are properly informed.

One of the conditionalities for granting mining permit is that the mining company will later cover the mined site with soil and plant trees there. I think this is a very loose condition. Tree planting is very easy, it requires only half day or one day activity, including picture taking and picnic. But the newly planted tree seedlings can die the next week if not properly monitored, weeded and irrigated, and replacement planting is done for those seedlings that died.

I doubt that the mining permit will require "tree growing" and not just "tree planting". The former is the more appropriate activity; otherwise, all those hundreds or thousands of tree seedlings that were planted can all die within a few weeks or months after the planting activity. Vines and grasses alone can choke and deprive the newly planted seedlings of space, sunlight and soil minerals.

No comments: