CALANCAN BAY, MARINDUQUE — In its first 20 years in the Philippines, the Marcopper Mining Corp. is estimated to have earned more than $1 billion. During the same period, the company also contributed as much as P18.5 billion to the national government’s coffers.
MOGPOG, MARINDUQUE — The San Antonio Mine run by the Marcopper Mining Corp. has been closed for three years now, but residents of Boac are not the only ones with a dead river to remind them of the damage the company’s managers have inflicted on them. Here in Mogpog, a coastal town that is about a 20-minute drive from Boac, the major river is also so heavily polluted with mine waste that its precarious condition is visible even to the most casual observer.
BOAC, MARINDUQUE — TODAY MARKS the third death anniversary of the Boac River, this town’s major water system, which residents once used as a source of food, irrigation and water for livestock. Three years ago, more than three million tons of concrete-like mine waste burst forth from a badly-sealed drainage tunnel and choked off all life in the 26-km. long Boac River. The river flooded in various locations, inundating cropland and causing people to flee their homes. Two villages were cut off entirely and had to be evacuated by helicopter. Then President Fidel Ramos declared the whole island of Marinduque—some 170 km. south of Manila—a calamity zone.
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