MAC: Mines and Communities

11 Regions Hit By 'milenyo' To Undergo Ecological Assessment

Published by MAC on 2006-10-02
Source: Star

11 Regions Hit by 'Milenyo' to Undergo Ecological Assessment

Manila, 2nd October 2006

Star -

Environment Secretary Angelo Reyes has ordered a geological assessment in 11 regions affected by typhoon "Milenyo" last week.

In a memorandum dated Sept. 29, Reyes directed the executive directors of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Regions I, II III, IV-A, IV-B, V, VI, VII, VIII, the Cordillera Autonomous Region (CAR), and National Capital Region (NCR) to conduct a geological assessment in their areas of jurisdiction.

Reyes told the DENR executives to note slope failure or mass movement that is likely to occur due to the increase in pore water pressure because of heavy rain.

"(This) is to avoid further damage to lives and properties," he said. "If unavoidable, (they may) initiate evacuation in coordination with the local government units concerned."

Reyes instructed the DENR regional directors to coordinate closely with the regional disaster coordinating councils regarding the geohazard areas to forewarn the communities within or nearby of any impending catastrophe.

He ordered the evaluation of the structural stability of all critical mine facilities within the administrative jurisdiction of each DENR regional executive director.

Reyes particularly wanted the conditions of tailings dam and waste dumps checked for any possible damages or impending danger.

He also sought reports on the actions taken by the mine and cement companies to ensure the stability of their tailings dam or pond, and similar structures.

Reyes also asked the regional executive directors to submit their status report, including the damages inflicted by the typhoon, as soon as they finish their assessment.

The government's flagship mine project, the P1.4-billion Rapu-Rapu Polymetallic project in Albay, is in the Bicol Region while one of the biggest mining projects in the country, Philex Mining in Benguet, is in the Cordillera region.

The Australian-owned Lafayette Philippines Inc.'s Rapu-Rapu mine undertaking figured in two separate but consecutive mine tailing spillage in October last year due to heavy rains. - Katherine Adraneda

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