At the initiative of Councilor Dayanghirang, City Council revisits mining-free Davao City

JULY 27-AUG 2, 2013

By Cha Monforte, Rural Urban News

The Davao City Council in its session Tuesday morning revisited the mining-free vision of the Duterte leaderships for Davao City.
At the initiative of City Councilor Danilo Dayanghirang, the application for exploration permit of two still largely unknown big mining firms only identified as Alberto Mining Corporation and Pensons Mining Corporation were inquired on as to their status to explore and mine within at least 4,500 hectares in the city’s Paquibato District.
“Mining in Davao City is not accepted nor endorsed by the political leaderships,” Dayanghirang reminded colleagues as he, on interpellation, recalled that the mining-free positions of then Mayor Sara Duterte and present Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
Dayanghirang initiated to inquire in the wake of a report that a big firm identified with business tycoon Lucio Tan was said to have been granted a permit to mine in Paquibato District, which is considered as the city’s biggest watershed area.
He read a manifesto of Paquibato residents led by leftist groups protesting on that day infront the Sangguniang Panglungsod building against mining and alleged militarization in Paquibato.
The councillor said that in his initial inquiry with the Mines and Geosciences Bureau-XI he knew that there are indeed such applications of the two firms in 2011 but there is yet no favorable action taken by the MGB-XI.
He said that before a mining application is endorsed to DENR Manila for approval the prior and informed consent of the indigenous people in the area and the city government’s resolution interposing no objection to the mining project must first be sought.
Councilor Diosdado Mahipus on the otherhand said that “mining (in the city) is farthest from our mind” but “we should walk the talk” to avoid becoming the “whipping boy” in a scenario of seeing mining permits suddenly appearing in the midst as dangled by “Manila imperialists”.
Mahipus added there are reports that there are mining companies now operating in the borders of Bukidnon and Davao City.
“It is sad scenario for Davao City if mining companies started supporting candidates during elections,” he said. He cited precedents in other areas in Mindanao such as in Tampakan in South Cotabato.
Councilor Jimmy Dureza recalled that the previous city council lengthily discussed the mining-free vision of the Dutertes, which was even endorsed by third district Rep. Isidro Ungab, who subsequently filed a bill in Congress opposing mining in Davao City.
City Council Secretary Charito Santos was inquired on the status of the mining-free measure. She informed that it ended up in the first reading of the previous city council.
Dayanghirang also said that that there is a report which he said could not be taken for granted about a $131 billion-worth of mining operations over a mining claim in Paquibato District .
He added still there are a lot of mining applications filed by still to be known firms for the same
area.

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