By ALMA B. SINUMLAG
BAGUIO CITY – Illegal mining activities in Mainit, Bontoc in Mt. Province according to the people in the area has started disrupting the social norms specially in the directly affected barangay.
In an interview here, Manang Myrna (who requested not to be identified) said the school children in Mainit have started escaping from classes just to do errands and odd jobs in the mining area.
There are already a number of cases of drop outs because of the said odd job offers where they can earn up to P1,000 per day. Myrna added that children are even starting to gamble.
Some farmers she said are already abandoning their rice paddies because of the opportunity offered by money in mining. She lamented that the people do not forsee the future. When the mines are gone, she said, they will be left with nothing not even an education.
Moreover, there were already complaints from low lying areas like Dallic, Guina-ang and Bontoc because of the polluted water has reached these communities.
However, these complaints have not yet been registered.
She described the mining site as an open pit. It is near the elementary school and the rices terraces.
There had been complaints from the community members regarding the pollution and the depletion of water sources.
However, the miners led by a certain Madarang who is financing the activities said that if the water will be depleted, they will water the rice terraces and if the people will have a meager harvest, they will pay them.
She said, the only thing that they have not promised the community is the moon.
She further said that Madarang owns several pieces of equipment that the miners are using like the ballmill and others.
On the other hand, there were reports from the community of meeting or seeing foreigners who buy ore (nava) from the mine site.
And a Korean Myrna said who owns a backhoe and two other vehicles used in the site.
Contrary to earlier perceptions she believes that the mining is not really funded by Madarang who was a former small scale miner here but is actually funded by foreigners who buy the copper ore.
Meanwhile, Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) Mt. Province is encouraging the people to organize themselves and register their complaints with the local government unit and appeal to the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and other concerned agencies to conduct an investigation on the said mining activities. # nordis.net