Oct 14 deadline to prequalify to bid Diwalwal’s 8,100 hectares
Mt. Diwata barangay captain Franco Tito said that he is not the right person who has the mouth to comment on tomorrow’s deadline for the submission of applications to pre-qualify for the bidding of Diwalwal’s 8,100-hectare mineral reservation area as long it would not include the inclusive 729-hectare small scale mining area that his barangay covers.
“The people living in the 8,100 hectares, the lumads, other leaders and other government officials are the ones who have the right to say on the bidding,” Tito said in vernacular in a phone interview yesterday, adding “kay dili lang ako ang tawo sa Diwalwal.”
“Dili lang gyud nila hilabtan ang 729 hectares kay dili gyud mosogut ang katawhan sa Diwalwal,” he said.
He added he might be charged of usurping authority of others to talk.
But on the next breath, the feisty barangay captain said, “but when I open my mouth, I am both a barangay captain and a Filipino”.
And if he is given his way to talk on the bidding on the areas outside his area of responsibility, as a Filipino he said that it is not only 8,100 hectares but the whole country as well where foreigners should be prevented from mining. “Kaya natong mga Pilipino ug sa atong gobyerno nga magmina,” he said.
He said he is perplexed why it is difficult now for the Filipinos to apply to be allowed to engage in mining.
Tito added that for now he is keeping silence on the matter while busying himself in developing the 729-hectare mining area inside his barangay. “Di sa ko manghambug samtang kanunay pang ginaplastar ang 729”.
Last month, the state-run Philippine Mining Development Corp. (PMDC), formerly the Natural Resources Mining Development Corp. announced that six companies have signified interest in bidding for mining areas in Diwalwal.
Reports said that subject of the bidding is the 1,620-hectare Upper Ulip-Paraiso area, which the PMDC said is subject for award by next month, and next the 1,359-hectare Higanteng Bato and the 1,296 hectare Letter V area. These are all parts of the 8,100-hectare Diwalwal mineral reservation.
A basic requirement for the winning bidder is to pay $1.5 million up front and $1 million annually until the fourth year from award of the bid.
From reports gathered, this is not the first time the government had sought investor interest in the Diwalwal mining area. In November 2006, the government said that as many as 27 companies expressed interest when it announced it would auction off development of the area, counting among them both local and foreign mining majors. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News) http://ruralurbanews.blogspot.com