On September 17, Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu issued a ban on pocket mining in the Cordillera. The directive is Cimatu’s response after a massive landslide hit the mining town of Itogon at the height of Typhoon Ompong. More than a month after, thousands of families continue to look for alternative livelihood, with some already burried in debts. Small scale miners explain why the uplanned DENR order to close their operations is not fair and worst than the disaster brought by Typhoon Ompong.
The search and retrieval operations in Banawel, Natonin, Mountaint Province will continue even as contingents from the national and regional agencies have already pulled out on Friday, November 9.
In Natonin, Mountain Province, volunteers and government officials spent the All Saints’ and All Souls’ holiday retrieving dead bodies and searching for missing persons at a massive landslide that dragged the office building of the Department Public Works and Highways (DPWH) downhill.
The town of Itogon received P20 million from the National Housing Authority for the resettlement of 720 families whose houses are within the ‘no build zones’.
Victims of typhoon Ompong in Baguio City whose houses were destroyed complain of not receiving any assistance.
The Province of Ilocos Sur is still recovering from the destruction brought by Typhoon Ompong. Despite this situation, the provincial leadership assured the populace of the local government’s readiness for Typhoon Rosita (International name: Yutu).
Local chief executives suspended classes in at least three provinces in Northern Luzon in preparation and as a precaution to adverse effects of Typhoon Rosita (International name: Yutu).
Speaking in mixed Ilokano and English, Itogon Mayor Victorio Palangdan pointed out the PMRB’s advisory on the issuance of temporary permit released on October 18 negates the purpose of Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu to allow the processing of ore.
Still reeling from the destructive impact of Habagat (monsoon) and Typhoon Ompong, the knee-jerk decision to close small scale mines in the region and insufficient government assistance aggravated the dire situation of disaster victims in the Cordillera.
Matagumpay na naisagawa ang relief distribution operation para sa mga nasalanta ng Bagyong Ompong sa bayan ng Santo Nino, Cagayan sa ilalim ng Operation Paglingap na pinangunahan ng National Council of Churches of the Philippines katuwang ang Cagayan Valley Regional Ecumenical Assembly.
After a month of operation stoppage that caused hardships and uncertainty, small-scale mining, one of the traditional livelihood in the Cordillera, is back on track and here to stay after DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu ordered the immediate processing and opening of People’s Small-Scale Mining Area in Itogon, Benguet.
Typhoon Ompong victims from the Oggayam-Ysneg-Yapayao tribe in Pagudpud received relief assistance from the Ilocos Center for Research Empowerment and Development (ICRED) and Citizens Disaster Response Center (CDRC). The project supported by the Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe benefited 300 households that received relief packs.