Anti-mining group hits mineral reservation project in Sarangani

Mar. 30, 2015

TAGUM CITY—An anti-mining group on Sunday scored a proposed mineral reservation project in Sarangani province which was feared to bring environmental and socio-economic problems in the communities of Kiamba and Maitum.

Over the weekend, Socksargend Care, a local anti-mining group based in Sarangani, said the proposed plan has long been opposed by the communities “and yet here they are again pushing for this as if our message has not been clear the first time.” said Rene Pamplona, coordinator of Socksargend Care.

Pamplona claimed “the project will result to the destruction of the forest and agricultural lands which, in turn, will affect thousands of families who rely on the agricultural production of the area.”

Last December, Region 12’s Mines and Geosciences Bureau Region (MGB) presented to the members of the Municipal Councils of Kiamba and Maitum, Sarangani province the proposed Mineral Reservation (MR) Project.

Engr. Hernani G. Abdon, OIC-Chief of the Mine Management Division (MMD) said the mining bureau had identified a total area of 11,163.6340 hectares to have a known strategic mineral reserve that can be available for mineral resources development.

Abdon said “additional revenues will be generated once the mineral reservation is declared since there will be an increase in the payment of occupation fees and the five percent (5%) royalty share intended to LGU.”

But other anti-mining advocates belittled the revenues that will be generated from the proposed mining reservation project and said it will only yield problems to communities involved.

For instance, once the project will be approved, it will convert three (3) ancestral domains belonging to T’boli-Blaan-Manubo-lobo, T’Boli-Blaan and T’Boli-Manubo-Ubo and Mt. Busa— a common watershed area for the municipalities of Kiamba and Maitum, into mineral lands.

According to Pastor Jerry Bangon, chairman of Kiamba Municipal Tribal Council (KMTC), “the United Nations’ Indigenous Community and Conserved Area (ICCA) has an international law governing Indigenous Peoples’ (IP) rights declaring common watersheds such as Mt. Busa as off-limits to economic activities such as large-scale mining.”

“Sanguniang Bayan and MGB Region 12’s attempt to destroy Mt. Busa is clearly an abomination to IP cultural and traditional rights.” said Bangon.

“Kiamba and Maitum are known for the lands’ abundance in gold, silver, iron, copper and other base metals. Based on MGB data, there are two (2) Mineral Production Sharing Agreements (MPSA) in Saranggani and six (6) MPSA applications in process. It also has one (1) on going mineral exploration and 10 applications,”  added Bangon.

The Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) has also expressed support to the communities rejecting the municipal-wide consultation.

“These people, these communities are the ones who know what they need and what they want. Kiamba and Maitum are fighting for an environment that is socio-economically sustainable and as for the Indigenous Peoples, their rights to preserve their ancestral lands.” said Jaybee Garganera, National Coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina.

The group said a public hearing will be held on March 25, in Kiamba Municipal Gym where the Sanguniang Bayan will present the Mineral Reservation plan in Kiamba and Maitum. It aims to consolidate the opinions and reactions from different sectors regarding the proposed plan and ordinance.

“Also, this ordinance that they are planning to pass will not just destroy our common watershed and agricultural lands but our other bodies of water as well, especially in Kiamba since almost half of the municipality are coastal areas. In short, this ordinance will kill our ecosystem in general.” said Bangon. (

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