Village in Surigao Norte declared off-limits to mining, quarry

GIGAQUIT, Surigao del Norte (MindaNews/26 February) — A village in this town has issued a resolution declaring the place off-limits to mining and limestone quarry operations, it was learned on Friday.

The barangay council of Mahanub came out with the resolution after learning that a company was planning to open a limestone quarry in neighboring Sitio Dalit, Barangay San Isidro.

“We fear the adverse impact to the environment if this quarry and mining operations will operate in the town,” Alan Nada, a village councilor of Mahanub said.

Nada said the operation of this limestone quarry would also affect their village.

“This company has proposed 40 hectares of limestone quarry and mining operations and a portion of this area is part of the village,” he said.

Nada told MindaNews on Friday that they would not allow mining and limestone quarry activities in Gigaquit because they don’t want their place to become “ugly” like Claver, a neighboring town.

He said the barangay council issued the resolution on February 16.

Roy Pepino, a retired US Navy serviceman said he doesn’t like mining operations to be allowed in this town.

Pepino is among the hundreds of residents who signed the petition opposing the entry of Ibuna Enterprises, which is now seeking an environmental compliance certificate from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Caraga in Butuan City.

“I’ve been to many places and areas outside the country and seen quarry operations and mining operations which are far from the settlement of the people unlike this proposed one which is close to the village,” he said.

He said that in other countries limestone quarry operations happen in inactive limestone formations.

“In here it’s obvious that the limestone formations are active because of the river beside it which is the Baoy River. If these limestones will be extracted, our water will be murky since limestone will serve as natural filtration to the aquifer,” he explained.

Ibuna Enterprises applied for an ECC and other permits after the barangay council of San Isidro issued a resolution on November 24, 2015 in favor Ibuna’s plan to open a limestone quarry.

But the resolution came under heavy criticism as the barangay council reportedly approved it without obtaining the consent of the residents. (Roel N. Catoto/MindaNews)