The weather is fine in Silangan!

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

We have a fickle weather here in this part of our country, Benguet and Baguio in particular. I just have written about the very humid weather last week. And we are not used to such sustained heat generated, either because of climate change, decreasing number of trees, pollution, or simply the increasing number of inhabitants. We want a mild weather accentuated by cool and breezy wind where we can either wear a casual clothes. And when the heat is on, we want to cool off – ket agbirok kan a iti halo-halo!

***   ***

But in the past days, we have experienced heavy rains as if we have a storm signal, with thunderous lightning usually in the afternoon. Suddenly we say that our summer break is about to end. This is boon to our heated forests around us due to the forest fires left and right. It is a good and timely respite as they will be allowed to regenerate and grow again. But it is a bane to the so many road repairs and diggings in our beloved City. This means delay to their early completion and added misery to the commuting public and residents.

***   ***

But that is the cycle anyway. We have to bear it. We have to increase our patience as we sometimes encounter delays as we travel and go to our meetings. In fact in the grand alumni homecoming of the Saint Louis University School of Law, no less than the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines came late for about forty minutes in her time. Well, maybe because of the road repairs, I am not so sure. But that is bearable because we are fortunate that the CJ is our keynote speaker in said grand event. I am fortunate also that I was able to attend that event earlier than I could. I beat the traffic! On the other hand, however, I believe that the local contractors are doing just fine with good speed, trying to finish their works in less time. Go po tayo dyan!

***   ***

In the mining scene, a good news hit the national papers regarding the Silangan Mine development in Surigao del Norte, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Philex Mining. It is a very good development as it saw the clearance by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) for the company to proceed to the development and operating periods of the said mine, including the consequent extraction and commercial disposition of gold, copper and other associated minerals in the contract area. It is exciting because Silangan Mine is touted or considered as big were when Padcal Mine here in Benguet when it started more than 50 years ago.

***   ***

What is this clearance that we are speaking of for the Silangan Mine? The last straw so to speak for the said mine to proceed to development and operations was hurdled. As a  requirement, the MGB has to approve the Declaration of Mining Project Feasibility (DMPF), which it did last April 10, 2015. The approved DMPF is for the Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) No. 149-99-XIII issued in 1999 by the DENR to then Philex Gold Philippines, Inc. (succeeded by Silangan Mindanao Mining Company, Inc). Just imagine length of time when the MPSA was issued in 1999 and only in 2015 when it was finally approved to proceed to development. That is 16 years in the making!

***   ***

Consider the so many requirements stated in the clearance order: Sworn DMPF, Mining Project Feasibility Study (FS), Environmental Compliance Certificate, Three-Year Development and/or Utilization Work Program (3YWP), Environmental Protection and Enhancement Program (EPEP) and Final Mine Rehabilitation and/or Decommissioning Plan (FMRDP), Social Development and Management Program (SDMP), prior approval or endorsement of the mining project by concerned Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Sangguniang Bayan and Sangguniang Barangay, Order o Survey, Exploration Report, and Proof of Technical Competence and financial capability. These requirements were painstakingly complied by Philex Mining and Silangan Mining at a considerable cost in order that the order of clearance shall be secured.

***   ***

Anyhow, that is how difficult to start mining in its actual scenario. But all well that ends well. This gives so much hope to our country and people in the area that said mining project will contribute to the economy, generating income and revenue for all.

***   ***

Next week, we shall dissect the requirements leading to the order of clearance. For the Silangan Mining and Philex Mining, good luck and more power! Weather weather lang yan!

Comments