MAC/20: Mines and Communities

TVI Mining doesn't enjoy overwhelming support from local community in the Philippines

Published by MAC on 2003-11-01

TVI Mining doesn't enjoy overwhelming support from host and neighbouring barangays

By Tito Natividad Fiel, Coordinator DIOPIM Committee on Mining Issues (DCMI)

Nandau, Dipolog City, Philippines

1st November 2003

Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte, Philippines - Contrary to its claim, TVI Resource Development Philippines, a Canadian mining firm does not enjoy majority support from the host and neighboring barangays.

This development has been proven when 181 barangay (local district) officials out of 286 all over Siocon, signed the declaration against the entry of mining, especially large-scale mining, during the mining and environmental forum initiated by the Municipal Interior Local Government Office here in partnership with the DIOPIM Committee on Mining Issues (DCMI), a week ago.

Nine Barangay Officials from barangay Tabayo, a place where TVI Resource Development Philippines is located here were signing the declaration against the entry of large-scale mining. And the following were the barangay Tabayo officials signing: Vivencia L. Davi, Nenita D. Davi, Flora P. Ogiagan, Erna Sumagao, Aileen Sienes Arsenio P. Guinagag, Atao T. Davi, Felipe A. Bason and Celso I. Sienes.

Out of 286 barangay officials, 240 participated or attended the forum, but only 181 out of these were actually signing when few of them were eager to go home due to the arriving rain and feared that the flood would be barring them from reaching home. They declared during the open forum that they were not even fully informed by the company or the concerned government agency like the Department of Environment and Natural Resources about the impact that TVI will be having if fully operational, and so they are opposed the TVI entry.

The forum was started at around 9:00 in the morning through the Tri-people prayer from Subanon, Moro and Christian, and followed by National Anthem. Ms. Conception Capitana, a Municipal Local Government Officer here, gave her introduction to participants and followed by the message of Municipal Councilor Lunie Lucas, chairman on environmental committee of the municipal council here.

The declaration to protect Siocon from any kind of environmental destruction, especially large scale mining activity, was coming out through the process of workshop. They were divided into several groupings to ensure that all individuals could speak independently and the result were summarized into declaration.

"We the barangay officials from 25 barangays of Siocon, have understood that protection of environment from any kind of destruction especially large-scale mining is a primary need to do in achieving the genuine and sustainable development", the declaration said.

The declaration said, they the participants have understood that, mining especially large-scale extraction could severely destroy the environment based on experiences from other countries and other places in the Philippines.

"Philippine Mining Act of 1995 does not guarantee the environmental protection but more destruction", the declaration added.

Due to the above-stated reasons, the barangay officials declared to protect the environment and opposed all forms of environmental destruction, especially large scale mining operation.

But in an order of Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Central Office duly signed by Director Horacio Ramos dated October 28, 2002, gave TVI two year extension for exploration because it has complied all necessary requirements.

The order said, the exploration extension has been given to TVI because it was having a consent for operation from Barangay Tabayo, a host community through a Barangay Council Resolution No. 08, series of 2002.

Secondly, the Barangay Kilalaban belonged to the town of Baliguian of this province, an adjacent town of Siocon consenting the operation of TVI through a barangay council resolution dated October 4, 2002, Ramos order said. By this situation, the Siocon Subanon Association Inc. (SSAI), under the leadership of Timuay Jose "Boy" Anoy, the legal and legitimate holder of Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) believe that TVI is guilty of gross manipulation in getting resolution from two barangays and even in acquiring the two year extension for exploration through conspiracy with the barangay captain of Tabayo and few personnel in the Mines and Geosciences Bureau.

Canadian national feels shame over TVI unwelcome entry at the Subanon Ancestral Domain

By Tito Natividad Fiel, Coordinator DIOPIM Committee on Mining Issues (DCMI)

Nandau, Dipolog City, Philippines

1st November 2003

Sitio Canatuan, Tabayo, Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte - The Canadian National, named Joan Kuyek of Mining Watch Canada feels shame over the unwelcome entry of TVI Resource Development, a Canadian Mining Firm when she personally saw a week ago the three layers and very strict checkpoints of the said company within the Ancestral Domain of Indigenous People Subanon.

Kuyek expressed over the crowd of Subanon people belonged to the Siocon Subanon Association Inc. (SSAI) under the leadership of its chieftain Timuay Jose "Boy" Anoy during their community celebration on receiving the Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) issued personally by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on June 12 this year in Zamboanga City "You don't need to convince me, because I have really been convinced that this domain is yours. Honestly, being a Canadian, I am really ashamed of what TVI is doing to you here. I tell the people and government of Canada, because they didn't know it, and the company has not been enjoying support from Canadian people and government", Kuyek said.

She, together with Engineer Bong Corpuz and Ms Vicky Tauli Corpuz of Tebtebba Foundation based in Baguio City in Luzon, an International Policy Advocacy Institution and local partners here in the country and the Zamboanga Peninsula went to Canatuan on October 10 this year to witness the real plight of the Subanon people including their community celebration all about the issuance of CADT.

The said visitors were passing the trailing terrain by riding a single motor passenger that locally known as "Habal-habal" with around four hours including the two hours delay at the three layers checkpoints of the TVI Company before it arrived to the final destination The visit prompted upon the invitation of the legal and legitimate holder of CADT through the Siocon Subanon Association Inc. (SSAI) under the leadership of Timuay Anoy.

When Kuyek and companion arrived to the area and talked with the Ancestral Land holder, she personally observed that besides the gathering made by Anoy Group, other gathering occurred organized by TVI workers to counter the legitimate one.

Since the beginning, when Ramon Bosque, an alleged deceptive small scale miner was applying a mining rights over the area through declaration of location somewhere in the year of 80's, the Subanon residents had been continuously opposing the claim. When Benguet Corporation took over the area and sold to TVI, the same way, Subanon residents here opposed the deal.

But at the time of TVI, it has been employing division by organizing other Subanon group gathered from different towns working with the company and claiming as legitimate residents over the area where supporting TVI campaign to operate.

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