SUMMER is upon us, and in a fortnight, it will be Lent. Very soon, hordes of Filipinos, mountaineers, nature-lovers, and entire families will take the traditional trek to Northern Luzon for cooler weather and better scenery. There they will marvel once more at the beauty of Mount Pulag, “the playground of the Gods” of the Ibaloi, that has been visited yet again by Filipino and foreign mining companies.

Our latest report tells of the irregular exploration ventures in Mount Pulag, that layers of laws have firmly declared off-limits to mining and all other “economic activities.”

In 1987, then President Corazon Aquino declared Mount Pulag as a national park. It is the habitat of 33 bird species and a number of rare flora and fauna in danger of facing extinction.

In 1992, when the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) was implemented, Mount Pulag, as well as the Ambuklao-Binga and Upper Agno areas, were covered.

The water source and watershed of the dams in Ifugao, Benguet and Pangasinan, Mount Pulag — the roof of Luzon and the Philippines’s second highest peak — is also home to the indigenous Ibaloi, Kankanaey and Kalanguya communities.

This report was written by Baguio City-based reporters Arthur L. Allad-iw and Harley Palangchao, who received a writing fellowship from the PCIJ after participating in our seminar-workshop on investigative reporting.

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1 Response to Mining in Mount Pulag



April 13th, 2009 at 11:01 am

art and harley, there is this part in your story where you wrote something about Bokod municipal officials in anyway stopped the proposed exploration of the applicant-mining groups. In fact, they had practically endorsed the mines when they approved the proposed “solicitations” of a “pro-mining” association in Poblacion Barangay; and the solicitations of Pito barangay.

If you look at the picture, there are three barangays deemed affected by the proposals of the three mining groups… Poblacion, Bobok-Bisal and Pito. Bobok i not so keen on approving the proposals, in fcat this was rejected in Dec 2007.

Apparently, the mining exploration proponents worked on Pito and Poblacion by donating millions for their barangay development projects, hence, Bobok-Bisal in the middle was left out – this looks like a divide and conquer strategy on the part of the foreign investors.

I have more documents in my possession, if you need them. march

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