their approved Social Development and Management Programs(SDMP). Further, as of 2015, MGB claimed that 25.96 Billionseedlings were planted by 99 mining companies in more than 23,927.56 hectares of mined-out and other areas upholding the ideaof adequate protection of the environment, before, during miningoperations and beyond the life of the mine.
III.RESEARCH ANALYSISa.Mining in Benguet and its Effects in the Environment and to the Communityi.Status of the Environment and the Community in BenguetPadcal Mine is the first underground block cave operation inthe Far East. It produces copper concentrates containing copper,gold, and silver (“Padcal,” (n.d.) para. 1 ). It is located in twomunicipalities in Benguet – Tuba and Itogon – with total land areaof 13, 228 hectares. However, only 580 hectares or 5% of thetotal land area are developed/affected for mining operationsincluding the mine itself, mill, tailings facilities, residential andother industrial areas. Mineral Production Sharing Agreements(MPSA) cover the property’s 7, 967 hectares, while ExplorationPermit Applications (EXPA) cover 5, 261 hectares. This coversthree (3) major areas of exploration: Bumolo, Sto.Tomas II andClifton. The discovery of Sto. Tomas II orebody extended the life ofthe mine from 2020 to 2022 as declared on October 28, 2015,due to an additional 20 Million tonnes declared proved reserves(Philex Mining Corp., 2015).Itogon is the largest municipality, in terms of land area, inBenguet. It is known to be a mining town, being the site of large-scale mining operations in the country. The first mining firm in the
Philippines was established in the town under the name, BenguetConsolidated Mining Company(BCMC), by Americans NelsonPeterson and Harry Clyde which opened in 1903. Ironically, itssecond source of livelihood is agriculture like almost any othermunicipalities in Benguet. Its third source of livelihood is tourismexhibiting the Binga Dam, open pit mines, hot springs, andmummies. According to the 2015 Census, it has a population of59, 820 people (“Itogon, Benguet”, n.d.).Tuba is known to be the Gateway to Baguioas the threemajor highways that give access to the adjacent city of Baguioare largely traversed in the municipality. According to the 2015Census, it has a population of 47, 648 people. Major contributor toits economy is also mining. However, a few abandoned miningsites such as those of Benguet Exploration Mine and BlackMountain, Inc. have been left unattended for years, which pose athreat to the local population and the environment. Agricultureand tourism are also subsidiary contributors to its economy withthe presence of waterfalls, hot springs, caves and high peaks ofmountains in its land area. (“Tuba, Benguet”, n.d.)Benguet State University stated that less than 50 percent ofBenguet’s original forest cover remains as based on theDepartment of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)statistics. Benguet has a total land forest area of 214,523hectares and only 100,977 hectares are the remaining forest. Inwater quality, Bued River, was currently classified by the DENR asa water quality management area and more rivers in the area are