BAGUIO CITY –- Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan on Thursday said he will support the proposal of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to suspend the operations of some 20 mining companies in the country including two in the Province of Benguet – Benguet Corporation, Inc. (BenguetCorp) in Itogon and Lepanto Consolidated, Inc. in Mankayan – “if the auditing of these firms were done in good faith”.
“The proposal may be valid but the leadership of the DENR should also consider the would-be effect of the suspension to the workers and their families,” Domogan said.
The suspension, if implemented, will definitely affect Baguio City considering that most of the basic needs of the miners come from Baguio City like food and education, the mayor explained.
For decades, children of mining families in Itogon and Mankayan both in Benguet are educated in the universities in Baguio City offering Mining Engineering Courses.
Domogan urged DENR Secretary Gina Lopez and the audit team “to look deeper and validate the cause and effect of the proposal to the people, the province and the country in general.”
Meanwhile, Domogan is definite that the agreement between BenguetCorp and the local government unit (LGU) of Baguio City for the establishment of the city’s Solid Waste Disposal Facility (SWDF) will not be affected by the proposed suspension order.
Domogan said the area offered by BenguetCorp was once an open pit mine site which has been closed for several years now.
Domogan added that the agreement includes a rehabilitation clause to be imposed by the city government. Jojo Lamaria/PNA-northboundasia.com