Mining village residents claim drying up of water sources due to OceanaGold operations

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya — Barangay officials of Didipio in the Municipality of Kasibu claimed that their water sources are drying up due to the operations OceanaGold Philippines,Inc (OGPI) in the area.

Roman Ballogan, a Didipio resident said water sources have dwindled since OceanaGold Philippines, Inc.(OGPI) started its open pit mining operations in the village.

“As the open pit got deeper in 2012, our water supply started to get dry,” he said.

Ballogan said the OGPI vowed to provide a huge water tank to store water for the community while smaller tanks were already distributed to every household in the area.

“The water supply is not enough to cover all households and it is not even safe for drinking and cooking. Since they are the cause of our problem on water, they should provide us with a reliable water supply,” he said.

Ballogan added that the mining company has not responded to the demand of residents for a permanent source of potable water in the area.

Residents buy potable water for their everyday needs.

Engineer Edgardo Sabado, Provincial Planning and Development Officer said a two-day inspection at the mining site in Didipio was conducted in response to the claim of residents that there is water shortage in the area due to the drying up of sources.

“The mining company has already excavated underground developments within the mining pit which residents claim is the reason behind the drying up of various sources of water in the area,” he added.