acknowledgments      Foundation for the Philippine Environment (FPE)Center for Development Programs in the Cordillera/New ...
Environment Watch:                 a publication of the Save the Abra River Movement (STARM)*KARAYAN is an Ilocano term me...
Copyright 2004       SAVE THE ABRA RIVER MOVEMENT (STARM)                        All rights reserved.  STARM holds the rig...
contentsPreface*Filipino people’s water code—8Introduction*Mining in Philippine history—14Chapter 1*Profile of the Abra Ri...
STARM CONVENORS:       Ugnayan ng Pahinungod and Extension Services, University of the Philippines       Baguio       Cent...
environment watch: karayan abra                            7
environment watch: karayan abra    the filipino people’s water code    Preamble    Water is life. More than anything else,...
environment watch: karayan abrahttp://image.guardian.co.uk                                                          9
environment watch: karayan abra     exploitation of natural resources as well as large           Water services/utilities ...
environment watch: karayan abra     aim to develop aquatic resources to support the                              Promote d...
environment watch: karayan abra12
environment watch: karayan abra                          13
environment watch: karayan abra     mining in philippine history:     focus on the cordillera experience     Mining has ha...
environment watch: karayan abra                          15
environment watch: karayan abra     second at Acupan, the location of their richest gold mines.   1840 and 1855, Spanish b...
environment watch: karayan abraIn 1875, the Sociedad folded up its operations. Most of its     to reciprocate for the labo...
environment watch: karayan abra     In the time of the American Occupation                        the claims on which thre...
environment watch: karayan abrawww.los-indios-bravos.com                                                      19
environment watch: karayan abra     villages within the villages of the Ibaloy. In the two       pondfield would have yiel...
environment watch: karayan abraby intensifying their cultivation of swiddens and their        The NPA, however, was not in...
environment watch: karayan abra     Earlier, in 1986, a Lepanto tailings dam had already                            to the...
environment watch: karayan abra                          23
environment watch: karayan abra24
environment watch: karayan abra                          25
environment watch: karayan abra     profile of the abra river     Morphology                                              ...
environment watch: karayan abra                          27
environment watch: karayan abra     It is noted that main erosion processes are occurring at    San Isidro. The estimated ...
environment watch: karayan abraCharacteristics of Abra River and tributar-                   and satellite image. The most...
environment watch: karayan abra     Other resources                                                          261 irrigatio...
environment watch: karayan abra                          31
environment watch: karayan abra     biological environment (flora     and fauna) of the abra river     A. Vegetation/Flora...
environment watch: karayan abra   LOCAL/COMMON NAME                         SCIENTIFIC NAME                               ...
environment watch: karayan abra      Brazilian Fire Tree                       Schizolobium parahybum                    I...
environment watch: karayan abra Kulitis                                   Amaranthius gracillis                       Intr...
environment watch: karayan abra     2. Grassland Ecosystem.     Fifty-one plant species are growing in the grassland      ...
environment watch: karayan abra    LOCAL/COMMON NAME                        SCIENTIFIC NAME                         SPECIE...
environment watch: karayan abra       Kalamansi                                Citrus madurensis                         I...
environment watch: karayan abra      Trompa ng elepante                          Heliotropium indicum                     ...
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)
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Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)

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Why should we be concerned about the
Abra River system?

Yearly fish kills, death of domestic animals that drink from its banks, skin disease among those who bathe in it, poor agricultural yield, disappearing fish and plant life – these are some of the complaints aired by communities living along the banks of the Abra River. The existence of rich river flora and fauna and the use of watercraft for small-scale trade even in the smaller rivers that the Abra
River supplied are now only familiar in oral accounts.

Is the Abra River biologically dying? Is it on the brink of environmental collapse? What will be the fate of the indigenous peoples, peasants and fisherfolk living along its banks? Let us act now before it is too late.

What is the historical significance of the Abra River system to the peoples of the Cordillera and Ilocos Regions? With its headwaters originating from Mt. Data along the Mountain Province-Mankayan, Benguet border and its estuary situated in Caoayan, Ilocos Sur, the Abra River traverses the present Cordillera

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Environment Watch Karayan Abra - Save The Abra River Movement (STARM)

  1. 1. acknowledgments Foundation for the Philippine Environment (FPE)Center for Development Programs in the Cordillera/New World Siemenpuu Foundation
  2. 2. Environment Watch: a publication of the Save the Abra River Movement (STARM)*KARAYAN is an Ilocano term meaning”river.”
  3. 3. Copyright 2004 SAVE THE ABRA RIVER MOVEMENT (STARM) All rights reserved. STARM holds the right to the content of this publication. Thepublication may be cited in part or reproduced as long as STARM is properly acknowledged as the source and STARM is furnished copies of the final work where the quotation or citation appears. Cover and layout Milena Espiritu Roque Copy editing and publication management Audrey Mary Beltran Northern Media and Information Network, Inc.
  4. 4. contentsPreface*Filipino people’s water code—8Introduction*Mining in Philippine history—14Chapter 1*Profile of the Abra River—26*Biological environment (flora and fauna) of the Abra River—32Chapter 2*Effects of corporate mining on the Abra River system (2002 report)—48*Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous peoples—61*Quick facts and figures—63*The new gold rush era—64*Cyanide: gold’s killing companion—65*Facts on Rio Tinto Zinc—66*Lepanto Mining in Mankayan—67*Environmental Investigatory Mission documents continuing environment damage caused by Lepanto (2004 re-port)—78Chapter 3*Lepanto and its Teresa Project dooms the people—84*The Mineral Action Plan—91*The struggle continues—95Chapter 4*Health profile of communities living near corporate gold mining operations in Mankayan, Benguet—98*Health indices—108*Health effects of selected heavy metals and chemicals—124Annexes*Communities along Abra River—128*General Profile: Abra—134*General Profile: Benguet—136*General Profile: Ilocos Sur—138*General Profile: Mountain Province—140*Photo Credits—142
  5. 5. STARM CONVENORS: Ugnayan ng Pahinungod and Extension Services, University of the Philippines Baguio Center for Environmental Education and Sustainable Development, University of Northern Philippines United Church of Christ in the Philippines Community Health Education, Services and Training in the Cordillera Region (CHESTCORE) Maryknoll Center for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation SVD Justice and Peace Program Accion Contra el Hambre Alliance of Concerned Teachers DADAPILAN (Center for Ilokano Studies) KALIKASAN People’s Network for the Environment Makabayang Samahan Para sa Kalikasan at sa Bayan (Masakbayan), Ilocos Region Indigenous Peoples Apostolate, Diocese of Bangued Abra Human Rights Advocates Missionary Sisters of Mary ANAKBAYAN-Abra KASTAN (Kakailian Salakniban Tay Amin a Nagtaudan) Bangued Diocesan Youth Ministry Montanosa Research and Development Center National Council of Churches in the Philippines-Northern Luzon Regional Ecumenical Council in the Cordillera (RECCORD) Tebtebba Foundation Alyansa Dagiti Pesante iti Taeng-Cordillera (APITTAKO) Cordillera People’s AllianceWrite or email today to register as a network member:c/o CHESTCORE at Resurrection Cathedral Compound, 362 Magsaysay Avenue, BaguioCity PHILIPPINES 2600 Email: abrariver@4d.netWebsite: http://www.abrenian.com/starm
  6. 6. environment watch: karayan abra 7
  7. 7. environment watch: karayan abra the filipino people’s water code Preamble Water is life. More than anything else, people need water Filipino and every human being has a fundamental, to physically survive. Further, people need water for a inalienable right to clean, potable, sufficient water better quality of life – for sanitation, for food production, for survival and sanitation. 1 for production of basic needs, for leisure, and more. 2. Water is part of our national patrimony and should The Philippines has abundant water resources, much never be subject to exploitation for foreign, private more than Thailand, China, or India. Access to potable interests. water should not be a problem for its people but the majority of the people face water scarcity, which will 3 . Water should be treated as a people’s resource, increase further in the near future. allocated mainly for the basic needs of the people’s survival and livelihood. Over and above problems of environmental conservation, over-consumption, and degradation of water resources, 4. As a public good, water should remain in the public the people face a fundamental problem of inequity in domain, and conservation of freshwater ecosystems, access to water whether for individual household use or prevention of over-consumption and degradation of for livelihood as irrigation for farmers or aquatic water systems, and protection of watersheds as a resources for fishing. public and government responsibility, and the provision of water services as responsibility of Now the Filipino people face an even greater danger as government. neo-liberal policies of privatization, deregulation, and liberalization are being implemented in various sectors, 5. In the allocation of water resources, there should be including the water sector of the country. Water supply preferential treatment and positive action for the infrastructure like dams, and water utilities and services poor and marginalized sectors. are turned over to global transnational corporations (TNCs) and their local partners. 6. In the conservation of water resources, the ancestral domains of indigenous communities and national Consequently, water has become a commodity for TNC minorities must be given precedence. profit. Water resources are now under the control of corporations and allocated for their needs instead of 7. In the conservation and development of water fulfilling the basic human needs for water by the people. resources and provision of water services, As a result of their commercial priorities and increase in community management should be promoted. water rates, the poor and marginalized sectors that comprise the majority of the people are principally Conservation and rehabilitation of water victimized and lose access to water. resources and freshwater ecosystems 1. Sustainable, pro-people policies and programs to Statement of principles conserve freshwater ecosystems should be put in 1. As water is most essential to life, the right to water is place. Consequently, corporate logging, large-scale an extension of the basic human right to life. Every corporate mining and similar large-scale corporate8
  8. 8. environment watch: karayan abrahttp://image.guardian.co.uk 9
  9. 9. environment watch: karayan abra exploitation of natural resources as well as large Water services/utilities is the responsibility development projects that destroy freshwater ecosystems must be terminated. of government and privatization must be reversed 2. Effective conservation and rehabilitation programs 1. Institute a policy of public control and management for freshwater resources and ecosystems such as of all water infrastructure, utilities, and services lakes, rivers, wetlands, groundwater and the like such as dams, irrigation systems, hydropower plants, must be implemented, and renewable freshwater and public water services at various levels of supply developed. government down to municipal or barangay level. 3. Degradation and pollution of water systems by large 2. Government should dismantle, take over or industrial concerns, large-scale mining, export zones nationalize, as appropriate, the control of private and industrial estates, military bases and camps, companies over any or all aspects of operations of water transport systems and the like must be water-related infrastructure and water services. immediately stopped. 3. Government water services must be premised on full 4. Because of its particular devastating impact on the respect and realization of workers’ rights and welfare. ecosystem, the policy and program for large-scale dams must be terminated. 4. Water as a public good must be upheld. End the commodification of water and water services, such Development and management of sustain- as the promotion of bottled water as basic source of drinking water or regularization of water service able and pro-people water supply infra- fees. structure 1. A new paradigm for infrastructure development for Effectively provide water for people’s use water supply management must be developed and 1. The people’s interests must be upheld at all times in the current paradigms that is premised on large- all matters related to water. In the development scale dams that require large investment through and allocation of water resources, public official development assistance (ODA) loans and consumption must be the paramount concern. global TNCs participation and control must be ended. 2. Ensure access to water for all, especially the poor 2. In particular, small-scale hydropower systems and and marginalized. Provide safe and potable clean community-based and controlled irrigation and running water for all households, urban or rural. water supply systems must be developed as the overall alternative. 3. User fees for water services to households must be scrapped and instead a socialized fee structure that 3. Large-scale water supply systems for densely charges for water use beyond basic household populated areas like Metro Manila and Metro Cebu consumption should be put in place. should maximize and develop available renewable water supply based on a rational allocation and sustainable utilization of resources. Develop and manage irrigation and pro- mote genuine agrarian reform, as well as 4. Multi-purpose infrastructure development projects freshwater aquatic resources with prefer- for lakes, river systems, and wetlands should not dramatically alter or destroy ecosystems nor divert ence for small fisherfolk utilization of water resources towards the few. 1. Conservation, rehabilitation, and management of freshwater resources such as lakes and rivers should10
  10. 10. environment watch: karayan abra aim to develop aquatic resources to support the Promote democratic governance in water livelihood of small fisherfolk, peasants, indigenous peoples, and other marginalized sectors. supply management and water services 1. Consultation of affected communities and sectors2. Regulation of quaculture must be rationally must be ensured in the design and conceptualization implemented so that it does not marginalize small of water supply infrastructure, and their fisherfolk, while programs should be developed to participation must be ensured in every step of the promote aquaculture livelihood for small fisherfolk. implementation of such projects.3. Municipal/community managed irrigation systems 2. Consultation and participation of affected sectors must be developed on a massive scale in order to must be ensured in the operations and policy develop productivity in agriculture while assuring formulation of water services and utilities. sustainability and peasant and farmer participation.2 3. Transparency and accountability in financing and4. The prevalent practice of user fees and other management of projects in the water sector must be payments or charges for irrigation must be ended ensured. Collusion between government and the policy preference for large irrigation systems bureaucrats/agencies and corporation involved in that require user fees while destroying ecosystems construction and water services should be ended and and dislocating farmers and livelihood should be all forms of graft and corruption must be terminated. investigated and punished.1 Right here refers restrictively to human right and not corporate ownership rights or water rights.2 Sustainability here refers restrictively to the water system’s capability to replenish itself and not the World Bank-defined sustainabledevelopment.This paper was adopted by 369 participants (from 128 organizations nationwide) to the First National People’s Convention on Water last August 10-11, 2004, TheFilipino people’s water code outlines the people’s aspirations on water. It provides an alternative paradigm to private, foreign corporations-led development,management, and operation of water resources and services. It enumerates guiding principles for implementing pro-people policies and programs on water services,water supply infrastructure management, and water resource utilization. 11
  11. 11. environment watch: karayan abra12
  12. 12. environment watch: karayan abra 13
  13. 13. environment watch: karayan abra mining in philippine history: focus on the cordillera experience Mining has had a long history in the Philippines. Small- After circling the entire northern coastline, he returned scale mining has been practiced by Philippine peoples for to Manila in 1574 with 50 pounds of gold. Still at least ten centuries, and large-scale mining by foreign unsatisfied, he attempted to reach the Cordillera gold as well as Filipino firms for about a century. mines in 1576 but died during the expedition. Little is known, though, about Philippine mining prior Like Salcedo, other Spaniards collected tribute in gold to the coming of the Spanish colonialists in the 16 th from the Philippine communities that they subdued. century. Also, once they had established their rule over most of Luzon and the Visayas, they declared that they would In the time of the Spanish colonial collect a 20% tax – the King’s Fifth – on all gold production within their territory. subjugation of the Philippines Upon their arrival in the islands, the Spanish colonialists By the start of the 17 th century, the looting, tribute- were dazzled by the gold jewelry they saw, worn in collection, and imposition of the King’s Fifth had abundance, as normal attire, by peoples whom they discouraged most Philippine natives from mining gold, thought to be primitive. They did not know that as early working it, and trading in it. The case of the Ygolot lode as the 10 th century, these supposedly primitive peoples and placer miners of the Cordillera was a rare exception. had been participating in an Asian trade in which gold figured as both a commodity and a medium of exchange. In the unsubjugated Cordillera Many Philippine peoples in fact did a lot of goldwork. But Using the advantages afforded them by the rugged among those who developed an expertise in goldsmithing, terrain and harsh climate of the region, the Ygolotes – or only the Visayans also engaged in gold mining. Igorot; literally, those of the mountains – repulsed several Spanish attempts to take control of their area and The goldsmiths of Pampanga, in Central Luzon, derived possession of their mines. In 1624, a bold and intelligent their raw material from placer miners who worked the veteran of conquest, Don Alonso Martin Quirante, banks of rivers that had their headwaters on the Caraballo succeeded in defeating the armed resistance they put up mountains. But goldsmiths on the Caraballo themselves against his contingent of 1,908 men. But Quirante was derived their material from lode and placer miners who disappointed by the sorry results he obtained when he worked an area located between the Agno and Bued rivers tried to recover gold from ore his men dug out of five on the Cordillera mountains. The gold from this area Igorot mines they had found in a place called Antamok, was reputedly the best in all of Luzon. in what is now the municipality of Itogon. Juan de Salcedo, said to be the last of the great Spanish In 1759, the Igorot suffered a second defeat in the hands conquistadores, hungered after this gold. He had exacted of 1,375 troops armed with rifles and artillery. But these tribute in gold from traders in Mindoro and miners in Igorot had organized two lines of defense – the first at Paracale, and sought to do the same in Northern Luzon. Tonglo, along their trade route to the lowlands, and the14
  14. 14. environment watch: karayan abra 15
  15. 15. environment watch: karayan abra second at Acupan, the location of their richest gold mines. 1840 and 1855, Spanish businessmen in Ilocos had The Tonglo defense fell, but not without forcing the purchased 177,000 pesos worth of copper from the Igorot Spanish troops to deplete their supply of ammunition of the Mancayan area. and so prevent them from proceeding to Acupan. In 1850, the colonial authorities in Manila sent a mining The Spanish colonial authorities had decided on the engineer to Mancayan with 71 troops, to examine the punitive attack of 1759 in a bid to end the Igorot defiance copper mines there. The engineer observed the Igorot of of a ban on their trade with lowlanders. That defiance the area opening a mine by means of hydraulic booming. persisted. By the start of the 19 th century, the Igorot He also observed some mining and copper smelting. It were not just trading illegally in gold; they and other was probably his report which informed the decision of a Cordillerans were also undermining a monopoly that the group of Spanish businessmen to venture to Mancayan, Spanish colonial government wanted to establish in the secure a sort of mining concession from the Igorot there, production and trade of tobacco. And not only were they and, in 1856, launch the operations of the Sociedad dealing in contraband tobacco; Igorot were also Minero-Metalurgica Cantabro-Filipina de Mancayan with circulating counterfeit copper coins. Fed up with the 120 Chinese immigrant workers and a Mexican smelter. mountain peoples’ incessant disruption of the colonial economy in the Northern Luzon lowlands, the Spaniards The Sociedad’s operations became famous for their launched a decade-long punitive campaign to bring the inefficiency. Their low productivity and high production Igorot under control. costs – due in part to large expenditures on the transport of supplies from the lowlands – so troubled the colonial Later, in a partially subdued Benguet authorities in Manila that in 1863, they sent a The campaign began in 1829. Spanish troops under the commission to Mancayan to find out what was wrong. command of Don Guillermo Galvey crossed the Cordillera south to north and west to east, mercilessly shedding blood, burning fields, razing houses, and dispersing communities. Many of these communities put up a resistance but mostly lost to Galvey and his troops. By 1840, enough of them had at least been neutralized such detail of “Pageant of Commerce” by Carlos Francisco that the Spaniards could start establishing politico- military commandancies in the Cordillera. It was thus as a fairly subdued population that, in 1856, Igorot agreed to have a Spanish company open and operate mines in the area which is now known as the municipality of Mancayan. The object of this company’s interest was not gold but copper. The Spaniards had known about copper in the Cordillera for some time. In the 18th century, they had noted that copperware was among the items lowlanders purchased from Igorot who descended from Mancayan to Ilocos. And early in the 19 th century, as already mentioned, they had had to reckon with the circulation of counterfeit copper coinage whose origins they traced to these Igorot. In 1833, colonial authorities in Manila had shipped to Spain large naval spikes made of Igorot copper. Between16
  16. 16. environment watch: karayan abraIn 1875, the Sociedad folded up its operations. Most of its to reciprocate for the labor contributed by large numbersChinese employees stayed on in Mancayan and, together of poorer abiteg towards the construction of pondfieldswith some of the indigenous Igorot, made a good income and the installation of irrigation systems.from reworking mine wastes that the Sociedad had leftbehind. After having completed the baknang’s projects in land improvement, the abiteg improved lands for themselves.Perhaps the Igorot’s “selecting the richest ore” made all Within a single generation, pondfields replaced cattle atthe difference between their and the Sociedad’s copper the top of the Itogon Ibaloy’s list of most prized possessions;mining operations. Selective ore extraction – wet-rice cultivation replaced gold and cattle productiondocumented but unremarked on by Quirante two-and- and trade as the chief livelihood of the Ibaloy.half centuries earlier – was also probably the secretbehind Igorot success in gold mining and commerce. Perhaps only the outbreak of the Philippine Revolution in 1896 – and the imperative to help finance this as wellAt the end of Spanish Rule as the defense of the new Republic against the AmericanThe chief motivation for engaging in this commerce had invasion of 1899 – forestalled the Itogon Igorot’s completebeen the acquisition of livestock. Although the Igorot abandonment of the gold trade. After the Filipino defeathad long domesticated the pig and were already breeding in 1902, less than a hundred Ibaloy in Itogon stillit for use in their rituals by the start of the 18th century, bothered with mining.they did not develop self-sufficiency in cattle productionuntil the middle of the 19 th century. Building up the Among the Kankanaey of the Mancayan area, anecessary stock of cattle took so long because the very diversification of livelihood rather than a shift tookIgorot who accumulated cattle in significant numbers place. The baknang had ricefields built, but they alsobutchered these and distributed the meat in public feasts, continued to have the nabiteg mine for them quiteto establish and then periodically renew their prestige. intensively well into the 1890s.And when these Igorot died, all the cattle they ownedwere butchered for their mortuary feasts. The baknang of both Itogon and Mancayan may not have monopolized ownership of the land in their areas. ButIt was the ambition of the typical Igorot man or woman they did enjoy the privelege of first-pick in choosing landto die the owner of a large herd of cattle. The slaughter of for grazing cattle and for improvement as pondfields. Inmany heads of cattle during a person’s mortuary feast the Mancayan area, as well as the Bakun area and Loo inassured that person of prestige in the afterlife. Buguias, their choices left the nabiteg with little irrigable land. For there was less of such land here than in Itogon.Only when a considerable number of young men startedto make a career out of breeding cattle for the chief The nabiteg thus stuck to gold and copper production,purpose of trading these locally, rather than complemented by swidden cultivation – mostly on landaccumulating these for slaughter in prestige feasts, was owned by the baknang. When the Americans arrived inenough cattle finally raised among the Igorot to render the 1900s, the baknang readily entered into contractsthe gold commerce with lowlanders somewhat that allowed these Americans to file the legal claims toredundant. mineral-bearing land and the baknang to become shareholders in the mining firms that they would putAs soon as they were ensured of a steady supply of cattle, up.the Ibaloy of Itogon, in particular, started to cut down ontheir gold trade. These Ibaloy accumulated a surplus in This left the nabiteg trapped in a situation of practicallycattle, and the baknang, the wealthier ones among them, no choice: work in the mines of the Americans or goinvested this in the improvement of land for wet-rice hungry. But they discovered a path of escape – the pathcultivation. That is to say, they used the meat of cattle to Itogon. 17
  17. 17. environment watch: karayan abra In the time of the American Occupation the claims on which three corporations would establish Americans first arrived in Itogon in numbers in the year their dominance of Philippine gold mining for years to 1900, in pursuit of Juan Cariño Oraa. Cariño was come: the Antamok claims that would be operated by presidente of the revolutionary government of the Benguet Consolidated – the present Benguet Corporation; Province of Benguet. He was also among the leaders of the Gumatdang claims that would be operated by Atok- the wealthiest clan in Benguet – a clan that had traded Big Wedge; the claims in central Itogon that would be in gold since its founding in the 17 th century. United operated by Itogon-Suyoc; and those in Suyoc that would States army intelligence suspected that by 1900, he and be operated by the same. his kinsmen had contributed at least 50,000 pesos in gold to the defense of the Philippine Republic.1 Suyoc was not part of Itogon; it was located five towns to the northwest, in Mancayan. There, another European- Oral tradition in Itogon recalls that it was during the American dominated the prospecting scene – John American pursuit of Cariño when US army soldiers first Müller, who filed the claims that would be operated by saw Antamok gold – being panned from the waters of a the copper mining company, Lepanto Consolidated. creek. Within a few months, those soldiers who had completed their tours of duty started prospecting for Besides Lepanto, other copper mines would be opened by bodies of gold ore in Antamok. From there, they fanned the Americans in Tuba. But copper mining would not out to other parts of Itogon. really prosper in the Philippines until the dawn of the Second World War. Most of the Ibaloy were too busy growing their crops and their livestock to bother with the Americans. “You might In the meantime, American activity in Mancayan say that our leaders in those days were idiots for allowing started to displace nabiteg who had little other means of the Americans to do as they pleased,” an old Ibaloy survival than small-scale mining. Many of the nabiteg woman remarks. “But how could they have known what soon left for Itogon – where, it was said, both the land the Americans would do to the land?” and the Ibaloy were so accommodating, anyone could open a mine, cultivate a swidden, graze cattle, build The Ibaloy’s baknang feudal elite, as well as the abiteg houses, even one or two pondfields, as well as a new life, peasantry, had no conception of how the Americans’ large on any unoccupied spot. mines would affect their environment and their livelihood. The only kind of mining they had ever known In truth, it was labor that the Ibaloy were interested in – competed with land cultivation and livestock production particularly the baknang and the upwardly mobile cattle only in terms of the demands it made on peasant labor raisers among them. With the coming of the Kankanaey, time. they could recruit more people for work in their ricefields. The Kankanaey could even help keep an eye on the cattle. The few young men in the Ibaloy villages whose time They could live on a baknang’s or pastol’s vast grazing was not fully employed in agricultural or pastoral duties lands, where they could also mine and cultivate swiddens. even hired themselves out to the Americans as And when it was time for transplanting and harvesting prospecting assistants. They boastfully pointed out old rice, they could be invited to help in the work, in exchange mining locations, eagerly scouted out new mining for shares of the crop. It would be a mutually beneficial prospects, and happily helped out with the digging of arrangement. assay holes at the going minimum wage of a quarter- peso per day. Their favorite among the prospectors was And so, the Ibaloy welcomed the Kankanaey into their Nelson Peterson, a European-American who was friendly midst. Besides those who arrived from the Mancayan with their old folk and could converse with them in area, others from the Bakun area and Loo also turned up. Spanish. By the time Peterson left the Philippines in 1914 to enlist for the Great War in Europe, he had filed By 1933, the Kankanaey had established themselves in several distinct communities that constituted pocket18
  18. 18. environment watch: karayan abrawww.los-indios-bravos.com 19
  19. 19. environment watch: karayan abra villages within the villages of the Ibaloy. In the two pondfield would have yielded every year. 2 But it could most sparsely populated of these villages – Ucab and not pay for the other things that the community of Tuding – the Kankanaey would eventually outnumber Gumatdang – not just the ricefield owners – had lost: the Ibaloy. the cooperative-labor and reciprocal-exchange relations that were tied up with the production of rice on those But first, migrant mine workers would outnumber both pondfields; self-sufficiency in food and the security that the Ibaloy and the Kankanaey. Unable to attract much went with this; the stability of the village economy. local labor away from the fields, pastures, and small mines, the American mining companies in Itogon, as Beyond Benguet, no other Cordilleran peasant well as those in Mancayan and Tuba, brought in workers communities suffered in the hands of the American from all over the Philippines – but most notably from mining companies, although Americans had prospected the other Cordillera provinces, the Pangasinan plains, all over the mountain range. Word of the impact being Bicol, and the Visayas. effected by American mining on the wet-rice production resources of Itogon had somehow reached the peasantry From 1934 to 1941, the companies intensified their in these parts of the Cordillera. Thus, when the development and operation of large mines. Spurred by a Americans attempted to open mines in their areas, they high gold price and a rising demand for copper, they invariably drove these Americans off. drove in new tunnels and expanded their company compounds to accommodate new mine portals, ore In recent times conveying trams, ore mills, electrical power stations, Another boom in mine development occurred after the offices, staff cottages, and workers’ bunkhouses. Second World War. Spurred by an escalation in copper prices that was associated with the demands of postwar Now, Itogon’s Ibaloy complained. Because now, the reconstruction and the US’s anxieties over its Cold War tunnels were being driven so deep, these destroyed water with the Soviet Union, this boom was felt north to south sources. Because now, so much timber was being felled of the Philippines. This second boom led to a second for both tunnel shoring and surface constructions that disaster in Gumatdang. watersheds were getting denuded. Because now, the company compounds were becoming so huge, they ate In 1962, Benguet Corporation drove in a drainage tunnel into space that villagers needed for expanding ricefields, that stretched between its Kelly mine in Gumatdang and cultivating swiddens, pasturing cattle, and – yes – its mines in Antamok. Instead of just draining water opening small mines. from the mines, the tunnel drained the water from a major irrigation source. Again, ricefields dried up – In 1937, a disaster hit Gumatdang, Itogon’s oldest rice- this time in northern Gumatdang. Two baknang women producing village. Atok-Big Wedge drove in two gigantic who owned most of the affected ricefields sued the tunnels on opposite sides of the village. Immediately, company. Rather than seek compensation, they asked these drained the water from Gumatdang’s most the courts to compel the company to plug the drainage abundant irrigation sources. Immediately, ricefields in tunnel. But the company convinced the courts that the the eastern and western sections of the village dried up. cost of doing so would be impossibly high. The courts The baknang leaders and abiteg elders of the village thus compelled the two women to instead accept damage demanded that Atok do something to address the payments of 2,000 pesos initially, then 270 pesos for situation. But all the company could do was promise every year that the tunnels were kept open. ricefield owners a lost-crops annuity of 25 pesos per pondfield that would be paid starting 1938. In the wake of the 1962 disaster, Gumatdang was left with very few pondfields on which its peasantry could It was compensation far from just. It provided a slim grow rice. Both Ibaloy and Kankanaey peasants coped margin over the actual cost of buying the rice that each20
  20. 20. environment watch: karayan abraby intensifying their cultivation of swiddens and their The NPA, however, was not in Benguet. Here, Philexsmall-scale mining. and other mining companies were able to expand and intensify their ore production activities with littleThe loss of water was experienced more gradually in other effective resistance – up to 1988, that is.Itogon villages. But by the end of the 1960s, enoughwater loss had been experienced to cause all but three During the preceding decade, mining companies inpeasant communities in Itogon to adopt the same means Benguet and throughout the Philippines were upgradingof coping as had their neighbors in Gumatdang. For the their operations. Because they had depleted the higher-Ibaloy, in particular, this represented a retrogression: grade ore veins which they had been able to exploittheir ancestors’ achievements in developing the wet-rice profitably through conventional, labor-intensiveculture in Itogon had been undone. methods of underground mining, they shifted to mechanized bulk mining – i.e., the block-caving and strip-And still, the destruction would not end. Bigger disasters mining of more massive but lower-grade deposits.were yet to come. To clear the way for the installation of their tailings damsUsing his powers as a dictator, Ferdinand Marcos had a along the rivers, the companies drove off placer miners.group of his business and military cronies open and To clear the way for bulk mining, they tried to buy offmanage a gold mine on an old American claim in Batong small-scale lode miners and swidden cultivators, and alsoBuhay, Balatoc within the municipality of Pasil, Kalinga the remaining cultivators of wet-rice paddies.at the start of the 1980s. The group had the mine and itsmill developed and operated by the Philex Mining In Itogon, the Ibaloy and Kankanaey peasantCorporation, a company which had been operating in communities resisted. Although all they had to lose wasItogon and Tuba since 1956. badly degraded land that, by now, had very little gold left to yield to small-scale miners, the villagers ofPhilex began ore extraction in Batong Buhay in 1982 Gumatdang fought Atok-Big Wedge and Benguetand ore processing in 1983. Its mining and its milling Corporation from 1991 to 1993 – and won. Theiroperations were so intensive, they immediately resulted neighbors in the village of Ucab fought an even longerin the pollution of the Chico river system downstream of struggle with Benguet Corporation, from 1989 to 1994,Batong Buhay, all the way from Pasil through Tabuk and those in Tuding, from 1988 to 1997. Others inand Pinukpuk in Kalinga, plus Tuao in Cagayan, to Dalicno and Lolita continue to fight Benguet Corporation,Quezon and Mallig in Isabela. Rice fields in these areas as well as Itogon-Suyoc, even today. These communitieswere either buried in silt or got so contaminated with have saved what remains of their land. But the people oftoxic pollutants that they could no longer be planted. other villages conceded their resistance early. And this has cost them – and not only them but everyone livingCasting aside all fear of military reprisal, rice producing downstream of them.peasants in Tabuk and Pinukpuk rose up in protest,demanding that the Marcos government shut down the In 1990, a major earthquake rocked Northern Luzon andBatong Buhay Mines. But two years into their protests, destabilized the earth along its mineral zones. Tailingsthe peasants had yet to gain anything more than dams began to give way. First to go, during theacknowledgement by the government that Batong earthquake itself, was a Benguet Corporation tailingsBuhay was the cause of their woes. In response, the dam on the Antamok river. Next, in 1992, was a tailingsrevolutionary New People’s Army – active throughout dam of the Philex Mining Corporation, which hadthe Chico river basin in a struggle to save other peasant pioneered in tailings dam construction. In 1994, anothervillages from the Marcos government’s megadam projects Philex tailings dam gave way, along with a tailings dam– launched a raid on Batong Buhay, blew up its power of Itogon-Suyoc. Later, one wall of a Lepanto tailingssource, and forced the closure of the Philex operations in dam collapsed. In 2001, tailings breached another1985. Philex dam. 21
  21. 21. environment watch: karayan abra Earlier, in 1986, a Lepanto tailings dam had already to the adjacent plains and the Caraballo mountain range. collapsed. Indeed, all through the succeeding years, These applications cover a total land area of nearly 1.9 Lepanto’s dams proved incapable of containing the volume million hectares – that is to say, 104% of the total land of tailings that came from its mills: these tailings would area under CAR. time and again breach their dams. Despite the transnationals’ attempts to divide and conquer The tailings silted up the rivers and adjacent lands. In them with deceit, bribery, and force, peasant communities the latest case involving Philex, ricefields in San Manuel in the Cordillera have thus far been successful in their and Binalonan, Pangasinan, were buried in toxic silt a resistance to the entry of the transnationals. meter deep. Philex refused to admit responsibility for the disaster, although it had paid damages for such disasters Elsewhere: the peasants of Didipio in Nueva Vizcaya have in the past. It now followed the example of other mining gotten the government to suspend enforcement of its companies in the Philippines, who always placed the mineral exploitation agreement with the multinational blame on nature. Climax Arimco; the indigenous Mangyan of Mindoro have similarly gotten the government to suspend the With the advent of the transnationals operations of Canada’s Crew Development Corporation; Lepanto is now the sole survivor among the mining the people of Maguindanao province in central Mindanao companies that the Americans established during their have been able to boot out Australia’s Western Mining. occupation of the Philippines. It has survived with the Other Filipinos have, however, not had similar success. help of Rio Tinto, its joint-venture partner in a 1990s The indigenous Subanon and migrant small-scale miners operation dubbed the Far Southeast Gold Project, and one of Zamboanga are still trying to put a stop to the of its backers in its ongoing Victoria Gold Project. It is now operations of Toronto Ventures. the Philippines’ leading producer of gold as well as copper. The bad record that large mining has established among The Philippine government believes that the country’s Philippine communities – indigenous, peasant, and mining industry cannot survive without the infusion of otherwise – accounts for the resistance. It must be noted capital from abroad. This is why it has opened the that this record does not just involve bad behavior on the country’s mineral deposits to exploration and exploitation part of mining companies – engaging in deceit, refusing by transnationals. to admit responsibility for mine disasters, and so on; this involves the character of large mining itself. Transnational firms have applied to explore and exploit the entirety of the Cordillera; the mining applications that Large mining destroys. Large mining pollutes. Large have been filed with the Mines and Geosciences Bureau in mining disrupts agricultural economies. Large mining the Cordillera Administrative Region actually spill over displaces people. 1 Cariño commanded the Filipino defense forces in Benguet. And these forces were already in retreat by April 1900. US army troops pursued them to Antamok, wounded Cariño in battle there, but caught up with him only a month later in Kabayan, two towns to the north of Itogon, while he was tending his wounds. They captured him and incarcerated him for seven years. 2 In 1938, 25 pesos could buy 83 gantas of rice. The average size of pondfields in Gumatdang was 400 sq.m. or 0.04 hectare. The average yield in warm parts of Itogon, like Gumatdang, was 100 cavans or 2,000 gantas per hectare per year – or 80 gantas for every 0.04 ha. This is the shortened version of an APIT TAKO paper first presented on behalf of the Cordillera Peoples’ Alliance to the United Nations Economic and Social Council’s Commission on Human Rights during its Transnational Extractive Industries Review (session regarding the impact on indigenous people), December 2001 and revised March 2002. References are cited in the original paper.22
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  25. 25. environment watch: karayan abra profile of the abra river Morphology Hydrology The morphology of Abra Province is dominated by the The annual flow distribution of Abra River shows a Abra River. The basin is generally rugged and is distinct separation into two seasons, average flows are as transversed on all sides by hills and towering mountains following: of the central Cordillera that make up the rough relief of the basin. Only approximately 10% of the watershed is · Dry season November to April: discharge of approx. sufficiently flat for intensive agriculture, mainly at the 100m 3/s to 500m 3/s in average. valley bottoms. · Wet season June to September: discharge of approx. 300m 3 /s to 1000m 3 /s, with peak floods up to Abra River originates at Mt. Osdong in Benguet province 10,000m 3 /s and traverses north until Lagangilang and Tayum where · May and October are transition months. it is joined by Tineg River and turns west to drain into the Chinese Sea at the coastal plains of Cauayan. The Records show that almost every year, the province is hit highest elevation in the watershed is reaching more than by typhoon resulting in a high flood of Abra River of 2,400 m.a.s.l. (meters above sea level) on its right (east) approx. 3,000m 3 /s or more. Every 5 to 10 years, the side, and only some 500 m a.s.l. on its left (west) side. typhoons are very strong and even higher discharges When entering into the Abra Province south of Tubo, occur. Abra River has the level of approximately 200 m.a.s.l. and then gently drops down for approximately 90 km Maximum discharges of Abra River have been estimated until it leaves the province at the level of approximately based on computations by hydrograph method and 15 m.a.s.l. at San Quintin. observations in the field. The maximum estimated floods with a return period of 50 years are in the order of Geology Q 50 = 7,500 m 3/c at Tayum (prior to confluence with The eastern highlands of Abra River watershed consist of Tineg River) metavolcanic and metasediments, with a diorite Q50 = 10,000 m3/s at San Quintin (prior to leaving Abra intrusive as part of the Central Cordillera Plutonic Province ) Complex. Gold and copper prospects are associated with this complex. The foothills of the eastern flanks and the Many areas along Abra River and tributaries are prone western highlands of the Abra River are dominated by to flooding and erosion. relatively recent clastic sediments, including graywacke, sandstone etc, and a limestone deposit at Bucay. Settlements The larger settlements of 10,000 people or more are all Northern Luzon is traversed by the Philippine Fault and situated along Abra River and include Bucay, La Paz, a complementary set of northeast linaments. Abra River Lagangilang, Tayum and Bangued, the latter being the more or less flows along the Abra Fault which is a splay largest town with more than 35,000 inhabitants. of the Philippine Fault complex. Large earthquakes (e.g. Manabo, Lagangilang and La Paz have been designated in 1923 and 1990) are associated with this fault. as secondary growth centers which should attract most of the migrating rural people.26
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  27. 27. environment watch: karayan abra It is noted that main erosion processes are occurring at San Isidro. The estimated cost for the years 1999- 2003 Manabo, Lagangilang and Bangued along the Abra River. are in the order of P3 million (US $80,000). Soil, forest and vegetation Discussions with local people and officials show that Erosion of the soil cover in the uphill is a dominant partly devastating status of the watershed forest is made problem in Abra Province. Unprotected land without more or less solely responsible for downstream flooding. vegetation is easily washed away by rain and floods and The argument has some logic since the water and is consequently lost for future agriculture or pasture. sediment retention capacity of denuded slopes is certainly Main reasons are the steep slopes, instabilities in less than fully vegetated ones. However, recent research connection with earthquakes, human and animal in Switzerland and the Himalayan region shows that for activities (overgrazing, slash and burn). It is estimated large basins, the influence of the basin vegetation on the by the DENR that approx. 20% (800 km 2 ) of the peak floods is not significant. This means that measures provincial area are affected by erosion. against flooding will be necessary even if the afforestation program in the basin highlands is continuing. This Approx. 155 km2 have been afforested under projects and however does not mean that afforestation shall not be programs of DENR up to now according to official continued or even increased, since it is essentially statistics. The DENR plans programmes for further necessary to keep the fertile soil in the mountainous plantations and stabilisations in Lagangilang, Baay- regions (for agricultural purposes) and forests contribute Licuan, Tubo, Lacub, Malibcong, Daguioman, Danglas, largely to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.28
  28. 28. environment watch: karayan abraCharacteristics of Abra River and tributar- and satellite image. The most active part is the section from Luba to San Diego. Further up- and downstream,ies the channel is more or less confined by rocky slopes.The average gradient of the river within Abra Province Significant channel migration is notable at Bucay andis approx. 0.2%; the minimum gradient at around barangays Bangagar, Santa Rosa and Pallao of Bangued.Bangued is approx. 0.05%. The width of the river varies All these channel migrations resulted in riverbankfrom approx. 500 m near Luba to 2.3 km near Manabo erosion. Extension of existing meanders is notableand further downstream until a narrow stretch of approx. upstream of Manabo and Lagangilang, both resulting in1.2 km at Lagangilang (Marcos Bridge). The river is riverbank erosion and partly destruction of settlements.widest with 3 km just downstream of the confluence with Further erosion is noted at tributaries, in particularTineg River; it has a varying width around Bangued barangays Mudeng and Naguillian / La Paz at Tinegand is distinctively constricted at San Diego where only River, Pawa / Langangilang at Taping / Kilsoden River,a passage of 200 m width is available for the large floods, and Barangay Patoc / Manabo at Manikbel / Ikmin River.resulting in a considerable tail water effect. The river hazard, damage potential and resulting riskHighest water levels are 5 m to 7 m above low water have been assessed in detail at selected locations as shownlevel and up to 12 m at San Diego constriction. The below.highest water velocities during floods are in order of 2-4m/s and up to 8 m/s at San Diego. Priority Location Risk Length (m) 2 San Ramon 1 High 1500Hazards of Abra River 6 San Ramon 2 Medium 700Due to the high influx of sediments from the upper 8 San Ramon 3 Medium 1500watershed and the rather low gradient in the central 9 Bucay Medium 2000and lower river section, the riverbed shows aggrading 1 Lagangilang High 1300trends. As a consequence, river meanders change, river 4 Dolores Tineg Medium 2000banks are eroded and the high flood level increases. 7 Naguillian Medium 1500Morphological features, which can be observed between 5 Calaba Bangued Medium 1000Luba and San Quintin, include point bar deposits 3 Cabuluan Bangued High 2000(“islands” created by meanders partly submerged), 10 Pidigan Medium 2000alluvial terraces (now mainly used for agriculture andsettlements), and levees (accumulated river deposits at Mining resourcesriver bed or bank). Gold and copper mining prospects exist at some locations in the hills and mountains east Abra River ( Lacub,Main River hazards observed include Bucay, Licuan-Baay, Tubo, Boliney and Bucloc).· Bank erosion of agricultural, commercial or However, mining has not yet been taken up, although a residential land mining company does exist in Bangued. It seems that· Flooding of agricultural or residential land. mining is not yet considered sufficiently attractive. In view of limited resources in Abra province, miningFlooding occurs at many alluvial terraces near the river, should be allowed only when sufficient precautions areand flood levels of up to 2 m or more have been observed taken to prevent adverse environmental impacts. In thisat Bucay, Lagangilang (up to barangay Ballais), Bangued sense, active promotion of mining is not recommended.(barangay Sanga Rosa and Bangbangar) and Langiden/Pidigan. The above statements are also true for the limestone prospects near Bucay where plans for using the depositsRegarding erosion, the river meanders were studied to for cement production do exist.approx. 50 years back based on available aerial photos 29
  29. 29. environment watch: karayan abra Other resources 261 irrigation systems are operating in the province as Waste is currently dumped mainly along the riverside per 1998, covering a service area of approx. 11,000 ha. and partly washed away during high floods. This The systems range from small schemes for some farmers principle may be somehow acceptable for low population only to the largest scheme of ARIA(Abra River Irrigator’s densities and lower waste concentration. However, cities Association) in the Tayum region with a service area of such as Bangued will very soon have to look more approx. 1,300 ha. In general, irrigation allows two seriously into the waste problem. It is recommended that harvest per year, partly even three at optimal locations. controlled dumping places are designated in the zoning NIA(National Irrigation Authority) indicates that the plans and that they are professionally operated and total potential irrigation land is approx. 26,000 ha, thus monitored. all the flat land currently used for agriculture. NIA intends to expand the total irrigated area and Agriculture proposes 209 additional schemes for cover additional The main agricultural areas are located on alluvial 12,000 ha. The total service area would then be more terraces of Abra River. The municipalities along Abra than 80% of the potential irrigated area. However, it River contain approx. 80% of the whole agricultural land, has to be mentioned that quite some of the additional whereas mountainous municipalities only include some service area is threatened by the river hazards such as limited valley bottoms or slight slopes along tributaries. flooding or erosion, and the feasibility of such a big The agricultural production (1997 in metric tons) of the expansion seem doubtful. Plans until year 2004 are to whole province is estimated to be approx. as following cover additional 5,500 ha at a cost of P320 million (US$ with indication of sufficiency levels in brackets): 8.5 million). The largest scheme is planed in Lagangilang. · Rice 34,000 mt (110%) In addition, many schemes need rehabilitation. · Corn 13,000 mt (260%) · Fruits 12,000 mt (210%) Main problems for operation of irrigating systems include · Vegetable 5,000 mt (60%) the varying water levels of major rivers (in particular · Root crops 3,000 mt (100%) Abra River), river hazards (erosion and flooding), · Livestock 3,000 mt (100% for beef/pork, 10% for siltation of channels, organizational problems in large poultry) associations, and financial constraints due to limited fees. Excerpts from the “ABRA RIVER REGULATION PROJECT PRE-FEASIBILITY STUDY (FINAL REPORT)”, Volume 1 by Trans-Asia in association with Basler and Hofman as commissioned by the Provincial Government of Abra and the National Economic and Development Authority, February 200030
  30. 30. environment watch: karayan abra 31
  31. 31. environment watch: karayan abra biological environment (flora and fauna) of the abra river A. Vegetation/Flora 1. Forest Ecosystem. The forest ecosystem of Abra River Watershed has one These are growing in the higher elevation of the water- hundred forty one plant species. One hundred six are en- shed where they form the vegetation, particularly along demic- nineteen has medicinal values; thirty-five are mountains, ravines, hills and stream or riverbanks (Table exotic or introduced-only eight have medicinal values. 1).32
  32. 32. environment watch: karayan abra LOCAL/COMMON NAME SCIENTIFIC NAME SPECIES COMPOSITION Abutra Arcangelisia flava Endemic, medicinal Agakong Arcangelisia capillaris Endemic,medicinal Agoho Casuarina equisitifolia Introduced Akapulko Cassia alata Introduced,medicinal Akle Albizia akle Endemic Akleng parang Albizia procera Endemic Alas-as Pandanus luzonensis Endemic Albutra Arcangelisia flava Endemic Alibangbang Bauhinia malabarica Endemic Almaciga Agathis philippinensis Endemic, Medicinal Alupag Lichi chinensis Endemic Alupang Euphoria digyma Endemic Amugis Koordersiodendron pinnatum Endemic Amuyong Goniothalamus amuyong Endemic Anabiong Trema orientales Endemic Anagap Archidendron scutiferum Endemic Anchoan-dilau Cassia spectabilis Introduced Anilau Corona serrtifolia Endemic Anonang Cordia obliqua Endemic Antipolo Artocarpus blancoi Endemic Anubing Artocarpus ovatus Endemic Atibulnak Robus rosayoluis Endemic Aunanis Ardisia pyramidalis Endemic Bagalunga/Bullilising Melia dubia Endemic Bagras Eucalyptus deglupta Endemic Balatong aso Cassia accidentalis Introduced, medicinal Balete Kingiodendron alternifolium Endemic Balinghasai Buchanania arborescens Endemic Banaba Lagerstroemia speciosa Endemic Bangar Sterculia foetida Endemic Bangkal Nauclea orientalis Endemic Bansalagin Mimosops elengi Endemic Banuyo Wallacodendron celebicum Endemic Bayanti Aglaia llanosiana Endemic Bayog Dendrocalamus merilliamus Endemic Benguet Pine Pinus insularis Endemic Big leaf mahogany Swietenia macrophyla King Introduced Bignai Antidesma bunius Endemic Bignai pugo Antidesma pentandrum Endemic Bikal Schizostachyum diffusum Endemic Bikal baboi Schizostachyum dielsianum Endemic Binayuyu Antidesma ghaesembilla Endemic Binunga Macaranga tanarius Endemic Bolo Gigantochloa levis EndemicTable 1. Flora growing in the forest ecosystem of Abra River Watershed (continued on next 2 pages). 33
  33. 33. environment watch: karayan abra Brazilian Fire Tree Schizolobium parahybum Introduced Broad-winged Apitong Dipterocarpus kunstleri Endemic Buho Schizostachyum lumampao Endemic Bulak manok Ageratum conyooides Endemic, Medicinal Bunga Areca catechu Endemic, medicinal Bunot Robus elmeri Endemic Buntok kapon Ateris nutilata Endemic, Medicinal Burburtak Bidens pilosa Introduced, Medicinal Buri Corypha elata Endemic Calliandra Calliandra colothyrsus Introduced Dagdagtey Sphebomeris chinensis Endemic, Medicinal Dayap Citrus aurantifolia Endemic, Medicinal Dikai Embelia philippinensis Endemic Dita/Dalipawen Alstonia scholaris Endemic, Medicinal Duhat Syzigium cumini Introduced Dungon Heritiera sylvatica Endemic Earpod Enterolobium cyclocarpum Introduced Fire tree Delonix regia Introduced Fringon Bauhinia monandra Introduced Gatas-gatas Euphoria hirta Endemic, Medicinal Gendey Rorippa indica Introduced, Medicinal Gisol Kemppfera galanga Endemic, Medicinal Gmelina/Yemane Gmelina arborea Introduced Gogo Entada phaseoloides Endemic, medicinal Guava Psidium guajava Endemic Guijo Shorea guiso Endemic Gulasiman Portulaca alaracea Introduced, Medicinal Hauili Ficus septica Endemic Himbabao Brousonetia luzonica Endemic Ikmo Piper betel Endemic, Medicinal Ipil Instia bijuga Endemic Ipil-ipil Leucaena leucocephala Introduced Is-is Ficus ulmifolia Endemic Japanese acacia Acacia auricolaeformis Introduced Kakauate Glyricidia sepium Introduced Kalantas Toona kalantas Endemic Kalimutian Disoxylum arborescens Endemic Kalios/Aludig Streblus asper Endemic Kalumpit Terminalia microcarpa Endemic Kariskis Albizia lebbekoides Endemic Kataka-taka Kalanchoe pinnata Endemic, Medicinal Katoang Bangkal Anthocephalus chinensis Endemic Kawayan Tinik Bambusa spinosa Introduced Kawayan-kiling Bambusa bulgaris Endemic Kayunkum Selaginella tamariscima Endemic, Medicinal Kolot-kulotan Trumfeta bartramia Endemic Kuliat Gnetum indicum Endemic Kulibangbang Bauhunia acuminata Introduced Table 1 (continued). Flora growing in the forest ecosystem of Abra River Watershed34
  34. 34. environment watch: karayan abra Kulitis Amaranthius gracillis Introduced, medicinal Lagundi/Dangla Vitex negundo Endemic Lanete Writhia pubescens Endemic Lanlanpaka Sobehus aruensis Introduced, medicinal Lanong babae Lycopodium cernum Endemic, medicinal Ligas/Kamiring Semecarpus philippinensis Endemic Limuran Calamus ornatus Endemic Liusin Parinari corymbosa Endemic Lubigan Acorus calamus Introduced, medicinal Luya-luyahan Curcurma zedoira Endemic, Medicinal Luyang dilaw Curcurma domestica Endemic, Medicinal Mac Arthurs Palm Ptychosperma macarthurii Introduced Maguey Agave cantula Introduced Makahiya Mimosa pudica Endemic, Medicinal Malabuho Sterculia oblongata Endemic Malapapaya Polyscias nodosa Endemic Malasaging Aglaia diffusa Endemic Malugai Pometia pinnata Introduced Manalu Semecarpus longifolius Endemic Mangga Mangifera indica Endemic Mangium Acacia mangium Introduced Molave Vitex parviflora Endemic Narra Pterocarpus indicus Endemic Palawan cherry Cassia nodosa Introduced Palosanto Triplaris cumingiana Introduced Palosapis Anisoptera thurifera Endemic Pangi Pangium edule Introduced Piling liitan/anteng Canarium luzonicum Endemic Pinkapinkahan Orxylum indicum Endemic Pitogo Cycas rumphii Endemic Pongapong/tigi Amorphopalus campanumatus Endemic Rain tree Albizzia saman/ Samanea saman Introduced Red Lauan Shorea negrosensis Endemic Sakat Terminalia nitens Endemic Salago Wikstroemia spp. Endemic Sampalok Tamarindus indica Introduced Siniguelas Semecarpus purpurea Endemic Tagpo Ardisia squamosa Endemic Talisai Terminalia catappa Endemic Talugtog Gualtheria leocarpa Introduced Tamayuan Strombosia philippinensis Endemic Tambo Arundo donax Endemic Teak Tectona grandis Introduced Tindalo Canarium rhomboidea Endemic Tuai Bischofia javanica Endemic Uai Calamus grandifolius Endemic White lauan Shorea contorta Endemic Wild Strawberry Robus rosayolius EndemicTable 1 (continued). Flora growing in the forest ecosystem of Abra River Watershed 35
  35. 35. environment watch: karayan abra 2. Grassland Ecosystem. Fifty-one plant species are growing in the grassland in open grassland, banks of rice paddies, cultivated lands, ecosystem of the Abra River watershed. Eighteen are along trails, canals near settlements, waste grounds and introduced- two have medicinal values; thirty-three are roadsides (Table 2). endemic- six have medicinal values. These are common LOCAL/COMMON NAME SCIENTIFIC NAME SPECIES COMPOSITION Agakong Artemisia capillaris Endemic/ Medicinal Alam Dactylochtenium aegyptium Endemic Amorseco Chrysopogon aciculatrus Endemic Anis Foeniculum bulgare Introduced Anuwang Cyperus kyllingia Endemic/ Medicinal Apidam Ellesusine indica Endemic Babaka-nalabaka Panicum reptans Endemic Bamoko Chloris barbara Endemic Barit Lessia hexandra Introduced Bermuda grass Cynodon dactylon Introduced Binayoyo Antidesma ghaesembilla Endemic Bongalon Echinochloa stagnina Endemic Botansilyo Cyperus globulosa Endemic Buntot Socciolepsis indica Endemic Carabao grass Onnupus compressus Endemic Cogon Imperata cylindrica Endemic Table 2. Flora found in the grassland ecosystem of Abra River Watershed 3. Urban and Rural Ecosystem. The urban and rural ecosystems are the exposed areas ues. Fifty-three are endemic- sixteen are edible and twelve like grassland paddies, cultivated fields, wetlands, wa- have medicinal values. These plant species are mostly tercourses and roadsides. Ninety-eight identified plant found growing along human settlement and areas with species are growing in this ecosystem. Forty-five are in- low to medium elevation in the watershed (Table 3). troduced- fifteen are edible and five have medical val-36
  36. 36. environment watch: karayan abra LOCAL/COMMON NAME SCIENTIFIC NAME SPECIES COMPOSITION Acacia mangium Acacia mangium Introduced Acapulko Cassia alata Endemic/medicinal Acerola Malphigia glabra Introduced Achuete Bixa orellana Endemic/edible Agakog Arthemissia capillaris Introduced/medicinal Agoho Casuarina equisitifolia Introduced Alnus Alnus japonica Introduced Alnus nepalensis Alnus nepalensis Introduced American Kapok Ceiba pentandia Introduced Anuwang Cyprus kyllingia Endemic/medicinal Atis Anona squamosa Introduced/edible Avocado Persea gratissima Endemic/edible Balimbing/granatis Averhoa carambola Introduced/edible Banana Musa spp Endemic/edible Betel-kulutan Endemic Big leaf mahogany Swietenia machropyla Introduced Botansilyo Cyprus kyllingia Endemic Bulak manok Agratum conyzoides Endemic/medicinal Bunga Areca catechu Endemic/medicinal Caballero Caesalpinia pulcherrima Introduced Cacao Theombroma cacao Endemic/edible Caimito Chrysophyllum cainito Introduced/edible Calachuchi Pluemra acuminata Introduced/medicinal Chico Manilkara sapota Introduced/edible Citrus Citrus auranthium Endemic Coconut/niog Cocos nucifera Endemic/edible Coffee Coffea arabica Introduced/edible Damong Maria Atemisia vulgaris Introduced/medicinal Dapdap Eryhtrina orientalis Endemic Datiles Mutianga calabura Introduced/medicinal Dayap Citrus aurantifolia Endemic/medicinal Dilang-baka Nopalea cochinellefera Endemic Duhat Syzigium cumingii Endemic/edible Excelsa Coffea excelsa Introduced Gininbua Saururus chinensis Introduced Gisol Kaempferia galanga Endemic/medicinal Golden shower Cassia fistula Introduced Guava Psidium guajava Endemic/edible Guayabano Anona muricata Introduced/edible Gulasiman Potulaca oleraceae Endemic/medicinal Ipil-ipil Leucaena leucocephala Introduced Japanese acacia Acacia auriculiformis Introduced Kadayohan Celosia argentea Endemic/medicinal Kahel Citrus auranthium Endemic/medicinal Kakawate Gliricida sepium IntroducedTable 3. Flora found in the rural and urban ecosystem in the Abra River Watershed. 37
  37. 37. environment watch: karayan abra Kalamansi Citrus madurensis Introduced/edible Kamachile Pithecellobium dulce Introduced/edible Kamagong Diospyros philippinensis Endemic/edible Kamansi Sympetalandra densiflora Introduced/edible Kamias Averrhoa balimbi Endemic/edible Kapok Artocarpus altilis Endemic Kasoy Anacardium occidentale Introduced/edible Kataka-taka Kalanchoe pinnata Endemic/medicinal Katuria Sesbania grandiflora Endemic/edible Kawayan kiling Bambusa bulgaris Endemic Kawayan tinik Bambusa spinosa Endemic Kayumyum Salnaginalla tamariscina Endemic/medicinal Kulatis Amaranthus gracillis Endemic Kulot-kulutan Triumfetta rhomboidea Endemic Lantana Lantana camara Endemic Lanting Plantago major Endemic Ligtang/bayating Anamarita cocculus Endemic Lukban/Suwa/Pomelo Citrus grandis Endemic/edible Luya-luyahan Cucurma zedoarea Endemic Luyang dilaw Cucurma domestica Endemic Maguey Agave cantula Introduced Makopa Syzigium samarngense Introduced/edible Malunggay Moringa olifera Introduced/edible Mangga Mangifera indica Endemic/edible Manila palm/ Buwa China Veitchia merillii Endemic McArthur palm/ Ptychosperma macarthurii Introduced Misperos Eriobotya japonica Endemic Mottled lead dapdap Erythtrina variegata Introduced/medicinal Mulberry Morus alba Introduced Murray red gum Eucalyptys camaldulensis Introduced Nangka/jackfruit Artocarpus heterophyllus Endemic/edible Narra Pterocarpus indicus Endemic Palong manok Celosia argentina Introduced Persimon Diosppyrus kaki Introduced/medicinal Pigeon pea Cajenus cahan Endemic/medicinal Pugo-pugo Cyprus brevifolia Introduced Putod Equisetum remisissinum Endemic Rain tree Albizzia saman Introduced Rimas Artocarpus altilis Introduced/edible Robusta Coffea robusta Introduced/edible Sabila Aloe barbadenses Endemic Salengangan Aletris spicata Endemic Sampalok Tamarindus indica Endemic/edible Santol Sandorium koetjape Introduced Siniguelas Semecarpus purpurea Endemic/edible Starapple/Cainito Chrysophyllum cainito Endemic/edible Tagulinaw Emilia sonchifolia Endemic Table 3. Flora found in the rural and urban ecosystem in the Abra River Watershed.38
  38. 38. environment watch: karayan abra Trompa ng elepante Heliotropium indicum Endemic Tubang-bakod Jattropha curcas Introduced Tunkod-pari Cordyline fruticosa Endemic Ural Amaranthus spinosus Endemic Yellow oleander Thevetia peruviana Introduced Yellow shower Cassia fructicosa IntroducedTable 3. Flora found in the rural and urban ecosystem in the Abra River Watershed.Source: Agroforestry Species of the Philippines Plants of the Philippines (Botany Book)4. Cropland/Agricultural EcosystemThe cropland or agricultural ecosystems of Abra River ecosystem. Four were introduced, one has medicinalWatershed are the areas of low to medium altitude, such value; fifty-one are endemic, three have medicinal val-as the rice paddies, agricultural fields, gardens and waste- ues. Almost all the identified species thriving in this eco-lands. Fifty-five species were identified growing in this system are edible (Table 4). 39

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