BC turns over 11.6-hectares to Itogon folks in landslide

>> Friday, May 20, 2016

ITOGON, Benguet – The management of Benguet Corporation formally turned over to 46 residents, affected by the sudden subsidence in Camanggaan, Virac here more than 11 hectares of its mining claims within the company’s timberyard for their permanent relocation site.
Lawyer Froilan Roger C. Lawilao, BC administration department head, said the turnover last week was part of its corporate social responsibility in ensuring safety of people living in communities of their working areas in the municipality.
            “We have to sustain our commitment for the safety of the villages living within our working areas as part of a responsible mining company. We have to go out of our way to ensure that the individuals who were affected by the subsidence in Camanggaan will have a safer place to stay,” Lawilao said.
           Sometime last year, a natural land subsidence occurred in sitio Camanggaan, Virac at the height of continuous heavy rains that resulted to displacement of some 46 residents who built their houses in the area.
            Experts from various government agencies and the local government conducted a study on the real cause of the subsidence and official findings concluded that the fractured soil and rock formation that weathered through the years aggravated by the huge volume of water caused by the continuous heavy rains caused the subsidence.
            Lawilao said even without conclusive findings pointing to the company’s mining operations as the culprit behind the sudden subsidence, the company decided to identify the 11.6-hectare area within its timberyard and extracted the same from its mining claims to be issued as permanent relocation site for the displaced residents as part of its continuing commitment for the general welfare of the people living within its mining operations.
            He assured municipal and barangay officials who were present during turnover ceremonies of the land to the beneficiaries and concerned local officials that the company will continue to find ways and means on how to extend further assistance to them for the development of the property and the eventual establishment of a community in the area in the future.
            Mayor Victorio Palangdan said the municipal government will look into allowable means on how to extend possible assistance to the displaced residents and undertakes the responsibility for the immediate subdivision and development of the place where they will be permanently located so that they will not be exposed to extreme danger during the occurrence of natural and man-made calamities.

Lawilao said the company will continue to closely work with barangay and municipal officials as well as local residents living in their mining sites in order to sustain the promotion of responsible mining among the various small-scale mining associations for the preservation and protection of the environment.


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