Shut down

N. Vizcaya gov’t stops mining operations over tax dues

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya – The provincial government has blocked earth-moving operations by an Australian mining firm for its refusal to pay taxes imposed by the local government.

On Tuesday, a group of about 50 provincial officials, department heads and police and security personnel went to Barangay Didipio in Kasibu town to stop the operations of OceanaGold Philippines Inc. and Delta Corp., a subcontractor of earth-moving activities there.

Lawyer Desiderio Perez, provincial legal officer, said officials, led by Gov. Luisa Cuaresma, have vowed to stay in the area to prevent the company from resuming its activities until it agrees to pay the estimated P30 million business license and quarry fees.

“It is our belief that any agreement between the national government and foreign corporations does not override the power of the [local government] to collect sand and gravel taxes, as a devolved function under the Local Government Code of 1991,” Perez said.

OceanaGold has been clearing the area since December last year in preparation for the construction of various facilities for its $117-million mining project. The firm has set the start of production in February 2009.

Work, however, has been hampered by controversies in right-of-way issues as a number of residents refused to leave despite the offer of compensation.

Perez said the province was firm in enforcing the cease-and-desist order (CDO) issued by Cuaresma on April 9 against OceanaGold.

In his April 22 letter to Cuaresma, Environment Secretary Lito Atienza said earth-moving activities by OceanaGold and Delta in Didipio were allowed by the financial and technical assistance agreement granted by the Philippine government, which also exempted it from paying quarry taxes.

Since Tuesday, this writer has been seeking OceanaGold’s response but Ramoncito Gozar, the firm’s vice president for communications, declined.

A report of a six-member team that would enforce the CDO said OceanaGold and Delta officials refused to honor Cuaresma’s order when it was delivered to them in Didipio.

Instead, they vowed to continue the work, citing the instructions of Atienza.

The province has also required the company to submit its program of work, to enable the local environment office to assess the quarry taxes due to the province, the official added.

The provincial board is also set to withdraw its 2005 endorsement of the Didipio project, Perez said, to invoke the provision of law that no project shall be allowed to operate without the approval of host local communities.

Both the village council of Didipio and the town council of Kasibu had denied endorsement for the project.

In the sub-village of Dinauyan, residents composed mainly of Ifugao natives also set up road blockades to prevent the entry of heavy equipment that were to construct the project’s 70-meter high tailings dam.

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32 thoughts on “Shut down

  1. well melvin your side has won this round i hope you realise if the mine does not go ahead there will be alot of unhappy reidents of kasibu and envirions

  2. and what do you think the nueva vizcaya government will do with the money honey feed the poor? not on your nelly !!

  3. Time to realize what Cuaresma is doing. This is a CLEAR CORRUPTION of time and resources. The nueva officials should be in their own offices doing their work and serving the people of Nueva Vizcaya! Don’t you think?

    There is a proper venue to bring out their protest/complaints and not like this. I am optimistic that this mining company will surely “give what is due to ceasar” should they prove that it is really “due to ceasar.”

    I call this “political suicide” for BANTI. Poor governor…tsk tsk. I agree with the statement that “Cuaresma is out of her senses.”

    I view this as “pera-pera” na lang. They are so keen to have the P30M! Ano ba ito? P30 lang? AND WHY ARE THEY SO KEEN TO GET THE MONEY RIGHT AWAY? ha melvin?

    Things need to be studied first if they really have the right to what they are claiming.

    This action led by Cuaresma is a sign of DESPERATION. Right Melvin?

  4. well spoken geraldine its time the money grabbers were put in their place see melvin!! who’s the corrupt and money grabbing capitalists now!

  5. You just don’t ask someone agree (outright) to pay you of something he does not even understand why.

    You should give him time to confirm the claim if it is really valid or not!

    Quote: [“It is our belief that any agreement between the national government and foreign corporations does not override the power of the [local government] to collect sand and gravel taxes, as a devolved function under the Local Government Code of 1991,” Perez said.]

    ATTY PEREZ, you are not sure of what you are talking about! That is your belief… but you have to be sure. This is not trial and error. This is not a joke!

  6. kastoy gayam ti mangmangyari idiay didipio kasibu kasla nagulo sa met nabasak lang iti diaryo.

    apay ni gov cuaresma ket didipio ti kanayon na nga pansinin? saan nga dakami nga taga remote areas? awan pay ti nasayaat nga dalan mi samantalang ti didipio ket sigurado nga agdevelop da ta adda met diay kumpanyan ti minas. dapat ket sikami met iti asikaswen yo nga mangiturturay iti nueva vizcaya ta kakaasi kami piman.

    dapat koma Mayor Tayaban daytoy man ti kitaem. umapalak kadagidiay padak nga estudyante idiay didipio ta isuda ket maaddaan ti nasayaat nga future ta adu nga benepisyo ti maala da sadiay lugarda. ket dakami ngay? agururay kam lattan iti awan? agaramid kayo met ah iti nasayaat nga project yo ta isu ngarud imbotos dakayo ta kunami nga sikayo iti makatulong kanya mi a marigrigat ket ayan na ngay dagidiay promises yo?

    gov cuaresma bay-am ti didipion ta sikami lattan ti inkay ikkan iti development saan nga isuda ta sigurado met iti panagdur-as da. masayanganak kadagiti oras nga napan yo sinayang dita didipio iti mano nga aldawen kadua yo pay dagita opisyalesyo ket nagadu iti dapat nga trabahoda sadiay opisina da.

    talaga nga nagrabaw ka gov cuaresma. ket sika met mayor tayaban i-prove mo man kanyami nga sika ket nalaing nga mayor saan nga puro sau lang. kasta kayo nga pulitiko!

  7. It’s a good sign to see the NV Governor putting her hands to the matter Melvin. This means that she is realizing that Nueva Vizcaya is the last place in Northern Luzon where you can find untouched greeneries, unpolluted air and clear, flowing rivers.

    I hope Ate Glo will also understand that she can’t just include Ilocandia to fill her pockets!

    Your detractors are trying to tell that they too are kissing the arses of the Aussies. They surely don’t understand your cause until these Aussies are done mining, destroyed the environment, corrupted the people, silted the rivers and farmlands and leave the place after depleting the ores and leaving the place like a ghost town. Your detractors will soon panic to find out that the sweet arses they are licking now was not meant to stay.

    The mining firm may have promised to construct roads and bridges, schools and hospitals and temporary employment. But what are these in exchange of losing forever the very source of livelihood of the masses?

    Continue to enlighten the people of Nueva Vizcaya my friend. Save your beautiful province.

  8. Quote: [It’s a good sign to see the NV Governor putting her hands to the matter Melvin. This means that she is realizing that Nueva Vizcaya is the last place in Northern Luzon where you can find untouched greeneries, unpolluted air and clear, flowing rivers.]

    Hey Mr. or Ms. VF, before telling something, come to Didipio and see for yourself where the ‘greeneries’ you were talking about. The place where the ORE is situated is mainly rock. They cannot even plant vegies and trees on that hill. It is implied that you have not gone there because it is very easy for you to say that.

    Speaking of the Gov, she is desperately going after that company because she wants to raise money for her own good.

    C’mon people, you are hypocrites! If you don’t like mining then you’ll be walking NAKED along the street.

    You have these items and gadgets?
    WATCH (gold/silver)
    JEWELRIES (gold/silver)
    CELLPHONE (copper/gold/silver)
    CLOTHES (made by machines)
    SHOES (made by machines)
    COMPUTERS (copper)
    TOOTHPASTE
    MAKE-UP (talcum)
    ELECTRICAL WIRES (copper)
    VEHICLES

    Name it, gosh it is endless. Those things came from mining! Don’t you ever realized that? Do not use these things if you are against mining. Use banana leaves instead to cover your body.

    Resources cannot be called resources if we will not utilized it. Why are you afraid of development? Do you want our people there to remain deprived of development? Our own government cannot even provide that to the locals there.

    I am not patronizing these Aussies but I appreciate their efforts in bringing these development to the people of Quirino (I would like to emphasize this because technically, Didipio is part of Quirino–know your Geography) the RESPONSIBLE way.

    You too can help in the development of that community by being VIGILANT and by participating in the MONITORING of these project. Let us not keep talking and talking non-sense things if we could not reach out to those people, who like us, also deserve to have a better life.

    Let’s just put it this way: Granted the company is not there, what development can you OFFER to the people? Can you send their children to school? Can you give them employment? Can you construct them roads, bridges and hospitals? The answer is a big NO.

    At least 15 years from now the people in Didipio will be much WELL-OFF than we are rather than just sitting there and eating their ‘nga-nga’ and spitting on the ground.

    At least 15 years from now their children will become engineers, teachers, nurses, doctors etc, etc.

    At least 15 years from now they will be able to experience a more convenient kind of life that they will never experience if they are only planting camote in their
    backyard.

    Actually, those who are always making negative comments are those that are not really affected and are only jealous of the prosperity the project will bring to the affected residents.

  9. Hey Mr. or Ms. VF, before telling something, come to Didipio and see for yourself where the ‘greeneries’ you were talking about. The place where the ORE is situated is mainly rock. They cannot even plant vegies (sic) and trees on that hill. It is implied that you have not gone there because it is very easy for you to say that.

    This is part of Dinauyan, proposed site of the mine tailings dam. You call this area not suitable for planting, Geraldine?

    Name it, gosh it is endless. Those things came from mining! Don’t you ever realized (sic) that? Do not use these things if you are against mining. Use banana leaves instead to cover your body.

    A myopic view against those who express an opposing stand to the Didipio mining project. Banana leaves lol..

    Resources cannot be called resources if we will not utilized (sic) it. Why are you afraid of development? Do you want our people there to remain deprived of development? Our own government cannot even provide that to the locals there.

    I am not patronizing these Aussies but I appreciate their efforts in bringing these development to the people of Quirino (I would like to emphasize this because technically, Didipio is part of Quirino–know your Geography) the RESPONSIBLE way.

    You too can help in the development of that community by being VIGILANT and by participating in the MONITORING of these project. Let us not keep talking and talking non-sense things if we could not reach out to those people, who like us, also deserve to have a better life.

    Let’s just put it this way: Granted the company is not there, what development can you OFFER to the people? Can you send their children to school? Can you give them employment? Can you construct them roads, bridges and hospitals? The answer is a big NO.

    Geraldine really now sounds a lot like somebody I know who works for OceanaGold. Part of their Spec Ops, I guess.. haha

    At least 15 years from now the people in Didipio will be much WELL-OFF than we are rather than just sitting there and eating their ‘nga-nga’ and spitting on the ground.

    I humbly suggest that you should be culturally sensitive about the comments you make. Here, you are equating the chewing of beetle nut by the indigenous peoples to idleness and poverty. Next time you make such comment again, I would have to delete it.

  10. well well melvin honey havent you stirred up a hornets nest !!, greed is good hey!! you must one of the lucky ones who dont work in the fields and get tb or pnemonia hey !! give the mining company a break! austalians believe in a fair go for all !! your lot doesnt !! thats why the rich get richer and the poor starve good thinking melvin

  11. “Virgie” is really on the slow side now.

    I allow comments here but only if these are for a discussion of the issues, and should not be intended to malign anyone, much less degrade a race. As the moderator of this blog, it is my duty and my right to set up a border between what may be published and what should not be.

    Just like a number of comments made by you “virgie” which I had to delete. I do this not for me (because I don’t mind your personal attacks), but for the others who are reading this post, including, probably children.

    If you want an uncensored blog, don’t post here. Better yet, put up your own site. If you want to berate me for my writings and use all the expletives in your vocabulary, send me an e-mail message. If you don’t have respect for yourself, “virgie”, have some for others.

    I feel bad I’m saying this to an oldie.

  12. Quote: [Geraldine really now sounds a lot like somebody I know who works for OceanaGold. Part of their Spec Ops, I guess… haha]

    Spec Ops? HAHAHA! What are you talking about? I’d rather appreciate if you wrote some comments based on my statements above dear. C’mon what can you say about those ha? You should be writing things here that would rather give these people ideas about ALTERNATIVE SOURCES OF INCOME to improve their lives so we can drive these foreign miners out of Didipio. So we can proudly shout to the world, NO TO MINING! NO TO MINING! I would love that, really!…

    Now, let me clarify what you are saying Mr. Melvin.

    First of all I am not an employee of Oceana, ok? I am just a plain citizen of Quirino Province who is JUST AWARE and UNDERSTAND how a responsible mining is done and who has STRONG HOPE FOR DEVELOPMENT for our dear Quirino Province.

    Secondly, I don’t berate the indigenous people with my statement, please read between the lines:

    “At least 15 years from now the people in Didipio will be much WELL-OFF than we are rather than just sitting there and eating their ‘nga-nga’ and spitting on the ground.”

    OMG! Melvin, open your eyes! I did not say generally that chewing “nga-nga” is equivalent to idleness and poverty of the indigenous people. What I am talking about here are the people of Didipio who do not have better source of income and livelihood. Most of the time they are idle because they don’t have work to do! After planting ginger or rice what else they can do?

    For a family of more than 10+ kids (normally) how could that little income derived from planting rice or root crops send their children to school? How can they provide the basic needs of their children? The yield from farming is not even sufficient to feed their children. And those children will not remain children forever. They will soon grow and have their own families and bear their own children again! And the land they are tilting is not getting bigger. THIS IS NOT HEARSAY… THIS IS A REALITY. I challenge you to tell your own story about these people.

    It was you who concluded that I berated these people. I know many of these Ifugao’s because my late father used to work in Didipio and they even stay in our house occasionally because travel to Didipio before takes more than one day so they have to stay for the night that is why I know how these people live. I’ve been living in Quirino since I was 5 years old and now I am in my 50’s, for your information. So you don’t have the right to tell me that you know these people better than I do, my dear boy.

    My statement above would like to convey how ECONOMICALLY DIFFICULT their situation is and nothing else. If one of my Ifugao friends will read this comment, he will surely get what I mean.

    Nevertheless, I would like to apologize to the Ifugao’s in Didipio (and other tribes) if I have to use that statement in order to deliver my message clearly.

    Speaking of the ILLEGAL MINERS, who will not condemn them anyway? We all denounce these activities because this is purely environmentally destructive and this is rampant not only in Didipio but to other parts of the country and yet the government cannot do something because they cannot offer alternative livelihood for these people.
    There is a big difference between these two miners for the reasons I already mentioned in my previous post. Actually, they cannot be even compared. So the government should really do their best to eradicate their illicit activities of the artisanal miners.

    Well, with this, I would fairly support large-scale mining because they have their own environmental protection and community development programs.

    Atleast ako may option, yung iba diyan wala. Basta wala lang. Pwede ba yun? Selfish ka!

    And oh, by the way, thank you for correcting my grammar ha. I’m not good in English talaga eh, LOL! 😀 😀 I really appreciate your free English tutorial 🙂

  13. pls correct me..
    >>>the land they are [tilting] cultivating is not getting bigger.

  14. Quote: [A myopic view against those who express an opposing stand to the Didipio mining project. Banana leaves lol..]

    Hey, I really mean it, c’mon! We practically owe everything to mining. You may not be blogging here if not for mining huh! Tell me I’m wrong.

    So to all people who might read this thread, I urge you to CONDEMN IRRESPONSIBLE MINING and STRONGLY SUPPORT ENVIRONMENT FRIENDLY MINING. I think that makes sense rather than JUST SAYING NO TO MINING! 🙂 [i know he will suspect me again as one of oceana employees. what did he say? spec ops? what does that exactly mean anyway?]

    My grown up kids are also educated about responsible mining—so they are also one of oceana employees (spec ops?) lol! 😀

    Oh my, I’m becoming addicted to this thread. 😀 😀

  15. This is interesting:

    A frequent visitor, who introduces him/herself in this forum as “Geraldine, Quirino constituent”, and who has been profusely defending the mining project, has an IP address of 121.54.104.130.

    Another commenter, who goes by the name of “estudyante from belet”, and who has been so piqued by the stoppage of OceanaGold’s operations, also has an IP address of 121.54.104.130.

    Still another commenter, who registered himself/herself as “J.M. of San Marcos”, and was also very critical of my stories, also has an IP address of 121.54.104.130.

    Then another one, who gave the name “Didipio resident”, also is critical of my stories. He/she also has an IP address of 121.54.104.130.

    Hmmm..it’s quite funny how my critics post their comments using one and the same computer. Or could these be the work of just one person?

    Darn..just when I thought I had a lot of readers.. 😦

  16. Why, isn’t that possible? Oh how clever you are dear. I am not surprise that you spent your precious time and effort inspecting who your readers are.

    Hey, we are talking of ISSUES here not the IP ADDRESS.

    Just mind the issues raised dear and make an honest and straightforward comments. I am losing my patience waiting for your BRIGHT IDEAS.

    True, you have lots of fans here now and why not? You are very famous Melvin dear! 😀

    Don’t be upset. I am not your enemy. I did not post here just to ‘show off’. It so happen that I read your blogs and I reacted! I just want your answer to the issues raised. That would be all….Thank you!

  17. “Geraldine”, or “estudyante from belet” or “J.M. of San Marcos” or whoever you are.. 🙂

    We discuss issues here. In so doing, we must be truthful to our readers to be credible. But I’m amused at how some people can make a fool of themselves by sharing their ideas using assumed names and expecting their readers to believe them. How can one be truthful to his/her readers when he/she cannot even be true to him/herself?

    To the extent of practically losing my privacy altogether, I made it a point to reveal my identity in this blog (may picture pa, kahit pangit) just to be honest about who I am, and that I really exist. I expect readers to do the same. What’s the point of hiding your identity if you want to share wonderful ideas?

    I pointed out the similarity in your IP addresses to serve notice to my readers that there might be those who may just be fooling around, trying to make us believe that he/she is an honest-to-goodness “ordinary citizen” who favors the Didipio project, when in fact, he/she is someone working inside an OceanaGold office. I said “MIGHT” 😉

    By inference, the point is clear: Should we believe liars?

    Like many others, you constantly try to make issues here a discussion on whether or not mining is good for humanity, ultimately boiling down to lines like “well, if you don’t like mining, then you should not use the computer, or the cellphone..”

    ..or in a classic show of colonial mentality and fanaticism, you say “oh, these mining companies give us heaven and earth, and they will give us prosperity, so we should allow them to get our natural resources”;

    ..or “oh, these mining companies build for us roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, and they send our children to school, and give jobs to their parents, which the government, or you, the anti-mining people, can never give. So this mining company is our only hope”.

    Remember, this post is about the shutting down by the provincial government of OceanaGold’s operations for non-payment of quarry taxes. But then you “impatiently” want my response.

    I repeat the point I raised earlier in another comment I posted:
    Granting, for the sake of argument, that this mining company, or this Didipio project for that matter, would give all of us better lives:

    – Does this give OceanaGold the right to take the land without payment of just compensation, as required by the Constitution?
    – Does this give it the right to be exempt from the required approval by the local communities, as imposed by the Local Government Code, before it is allowed to proceed?
    – Does this give it the right to bribe officials in government?
    – Does this give it the absolute right to tear down your house while you attend Sunday Mass, or in the middle of the night, with the aid of armed men, and if you resist, they can just shoot you?
    -Does it give it the right to destroy the roads and bridges, even when there are still villagers living there?

    The list is endless.

    By the way, I don’t remember posting “No to Mining” in this blog. You can look all over the posts I made and point to me if there was such entry and if you find one, I will immediately shut this down.

    Having said that, I hope you will be more truthful about who you really are, so that we can also have a chance to get to know each other. I am willing to sit down with you and over a hot cup of brewed coffee, engage in a friendly debate. 😉

  18. Well said Melvin, but I would like the readers to know that I did not post here just to fool myself or anyone. Nobody dictated me. These are my personal opinions and observations. I think anyone has the right to air his/her thoughts. Right? Maging sino ka man.

    True that I did not fully disclosed myself for some reasons, but this is really me. If you are not convince with my identity, I cannot do anything, just let the readers make their judges.

    I believe that what matters here are the issues discussed and if the comments I raised makes sense. Readers will know if you are telling the truth or not. People of Vizcaya and Quirino are also aware of the issues talked about here that is why they also know if one is biased or not.

    Quote: [I pointed out the similarity in your IP addresses to serve notice to my readers that there might be those who may just be fooling around, trying to make us believe that he/she is an honest-to-goodness “ordinary citizen” who favors the Didipio project, when in fact, he/she is someone working inside an OceanaGold office. I said “MIGHT” ]

    >>> Your “MIGHT” is equivalent to “SURE” but sorry dear because I am not and I don’t inted to.

    Quote: [By inference, the point is clear: Should we believe liars?]

    Hahaha! People telling LOGICAL THINGS are LIARS?

    Quote: [ repeat the point I raised earlier in another comment I posted:
    Granting, for the sake of argument, that this mining company, or this Didipio project for that matter, would give all of us better lives:

    – Does this give OceanaGold the right to take the land without payment of just compensation, as required by the Constitution?
    – Does this give it the right to be exempt from the required approval by the local communities, as imposed by the Local Government Code, before it is allowed to proceed?
    – Does this give it the right to bribe officials in government?
    – Does this give it the absolute right to tear down your house while you attend Sunday Mass, or in the middle of the night, with the aid of armed men, and if you resist, they can just shoot you?
    -Does it give it the right to destroy the roads and bridges, even when there are still villagers living there?

    The list is endless.]

    >>> Please complete your list and may I suggest that you make another thread for this and I dare the people of Oceana mines to answer these issues for the sake of your readers. They have the right defend themselves anyway. ATTENTION: Oceana People!

    Quote: [By the way, I don’t remember posting “No to Mining” in this blog. You can look all over the posts I made and point to me if there was such entry and if you find one, I will immediately shut this down.]

    Oh you didn’t? I maybe out of the topic but it is relevant to the message that I want to express. But honestly, I really want to shout, NO TO MINING if (someone) or someone in the government will give me an idea on how to help those people in the mine site.

    Quote: [Having said that, I hope you will be more truthful about who you really are, so that we can also have a chance to get to know each other. I am willing to sit down with you and over a hot cup of brewed coffee, engage in a friendly debate. ]

    Wow, Great idea! I love brewed coffee.
    Looking forward to that! 🙂

  19. …err
    True that I did not fully disclosed myself for some reasons, but this is really me. If you are not convince with my identity, I cannot do anything, just let the readers make their [judges.] JUDGMENT.

  20. time really flies fast, it’s 7 days more then panagyaman 2008 na! this is really a time for panagyaman because the the provincial government has blocked earth-moving operations by mining firm in Didipio for its refusal to pay taxes!

    and talking about Panagyaman, last year i happen to past by the mining company’s booth. i heard a man talking so loud answering questions asked by passersby. then the man in the booth further said “isunga nu umay ti mining kampany ijay Kayapa, kayatenyo nga dagus ta nasayaat daytoy”. I can’t help but smile and say ‘that means you did not think first before saying ‘yes’……

    i haven’t visited yet the place, siguro naman nahihiya na sila patayo booth kc hindi nagbayad tax. bwahaha!

  21. ooh melvin you have upset the aussies ah well back to the rice field and the palay no mines forever hey

  22. the love of field and coppice of green and shaded lanes of ordered woods and gardens is running in your veins strong love of grey-blue distance brown streams and soft dim skies i know i cannot share it my love is otherwise i love a sunburnt country a land of sweeping plains of ragged mountain ranges of droughts and flooding rains i love her far horizons i love her jewel-sea the wide brown land for me

  23. For a lady Governor like Gov. Lloren Cuaresma to put up her own barricade, and charging the company for tax evation and now her list of various issues are endless, while she can resolve this in a ethical manner, I would like to believe that the reason is much deeper than I thought.

    Minsan sa ating buhay, kung may ginawa kang desisyon, kailangang panindigan mo kung ano man ang sinimulan mo kahit na maging katawa-tawa ka pa o kahit wala ka na sa katuwiran, kailangang ipaglaban mo pa rin. Para lamang maitayo mo ang iyong dangal. Kahit na tumalon ka pa sa tulay. Ganyan ang pinoy! Hindi tumatanggap ng pagkatalo.

    Hmmmm….I am really mystified. :-/

    Well, I’ll just wait and see how they go. I hope justice will reign here.

  24. For a lady Governor (sic) like Gov. (Luisa) Lloren Cuaresma to put up her own barricade, and charging (sic) the company for tax evation (sic) and now her list of various issues are (sic) endless, while she can resolve this in a (sic) ethical manner, I would like to believe that the reason is much deeper than I thought.

    Not that I am defending Governor Cuaresma’s actions, but this post really sounds (or reads) like that of an OceanaGold insider..really. I wish I had been there when a high-ranking OceanaGold official was put at the receiving end of an irate governor’s “profanities” against the company.

    Kawawa naman.. 😀

  25. you hate the mining company dont you porgi one tisk tisk i think in the end the mine will go ahead and there will be benefits to all im with you porgi that those who are owed should be paid not those who think they are owed something better than chewing betel nuts hey nga nga

  26. Just a commentary from an experience person in resources and economics.

    1) Firstly, it is an incorrect assumption that mining companies make huge buckets loads of money in a project. In fact, for the first 3 years, they are hardly profitable at all due to the intensive investment required (roads, drainage, machinary). Each investment has been undertaken under extensive research and risk taking ability. Most of the payment however, goes to the work force who are predominatly local 90% +.

    2) With any development, be it foreign or Philippine orginated, there is always a sacrific. You can’t have your cake and eat it. However, this is no more different from building a road or a drainage. Someone will have to move their house out of the way for other to benefit. A key problem has been inconsistant rules in the Philippines that has stunted GDP and developments. As a result, the Philippines is amoung the poorest countries in SEA, even though it was one of the richest 30 years ago.

    3) Enviromental, change of lifestyle and foreign participation are issues that are constantly monitored. No different to any thing else that happens.

    4) The current issue is a matter of rules. What’s more important is consistancy. Does oceana gold have to pay a quarry tax? Does the mining rights allow it? I don’t think there’s any issue with paying taxes, only unclear rules. Similar to someone driving on a green light, halfway in between the junction, the rules switch to driving on a red light. Red or Green?

    5) The worst case outcome here is stopping the mining here. The village loses as 900+ people become unemployed, the mine remains closed and foreign investors, scared losing money, pull out from the Philippines in every direction, not just mining.

    6) The best way to evalute anything is to put yourselves in all parties shoes. The federal government, the local governer, the mining company, the local villager and back of course to the 3rd party person making a comment.

  27. Just a commentary from an experience person in resources and economics.

    Thanks for the comment..which looks reasonable from an economics point of view.

    I wonder how objectively you would look at it from the environmental, social and cultural perspectives.

  28. Virgie, he is a wise person because he and you said so?? And you are telling me not to dispute whate he says and just swallow it hook, line and sinker?

    Again, you’re blaming me for all the problems in Didipio.. How convenient 😀

  29. 1) Firstly, it is an incorrect assumption that mining companies make huge buckets loads of money in a project. In fact, for the first 3 years, they are hardly profitable at all due to the intensive investment required (roads, drainage, machinary). Each investment has been undertaken under extensive research and risk taking ability. Most of the payment however, goes to the work force who are predominatly local 90% +.

    That may be true–for the first three years. How about the next 12 years for a project that has a 15-year mine life?

    Qualify “locals” because in Didipio, current mine workers who are from Didipio or Kasibu town are a minority. This is what the mayor has been complaining about all this time.

    2) With any development, be it foreign or Philippine orginated, there is always a sacrific. You can’t have your cake and eat it. However, this is no more different from building a road or a drainage. Someone will have to move their house out of the way for other to benefit. A key problem has been inconsistant rules in the Philippines that has stunted GDP and developments. As a result, the Philippines is amoung the poorest countries in SEA, even though it was one of the richest 30 years ago.

    No less than the Philippine Constitution states that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, and just compensation. If this is violated, no project, however well-meaning, is justifiable. We may be poor people, but we know our basic rights.

    3) Enviromental, change of lifestyle and foreign participation are issues that are constantly monitored. No different to any thing else that happens.

    Exactly. And based on the monitoring by government agencies and environment groups of OceanaGold’s performance for the past two years, it has made the life of the Didipio people more miserable. So what do we do now, just sit and watch?

    4) The current issue is a matter of rules. What’s more important is consistancy. Does oceana gold have to pay a quarry tax? Does the mining rights allow it? I don’t think there’s any issue with paying taxes, only unclear rules. Similar to someone driving on a green light, halfway in between the junction, the rules switch to driving on a red light. Red or Green?

    What’s more important to me is how the arbiters of controversies in our country–the courts–decides on this. If OceanaGold trusts and respects the rule of law, why can’t it just wait for a court ruling on the matter rather than just brazenly go on its way while conflict rages?

    5) The worst case outcome here is stopping the mining here. The village loses as 900+ people become unemployed, the mine remains closed and foreign investors, scared losing money, pull out from the Philippines in every direction, not just mining.

    That is from a capitalist’s point of view. For me, the worst outcome here is if the company leaves, it leaves behind ruined lives, damaged friendships, lost homes, flattened farmlands rendered unsuitable for farming, buried rivers.

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