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



Why should we be concerned about the ...

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

  • acknowledgments Foundation for the Philippine Environment (FPE)Center for Development Programs in the Cordillera/New World Siemenpuu Foundation
  • Environment Watch: a publication of the Save the Abra River Movement (STARM)*KARAYAN is an Ilocano term meaning”river.”
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • environment watch: karayan abra 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
  • environment watch: karayan abrahttp://image.guardian.co.uk 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
  • 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
  • environment watch: karayan abra12
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  • 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
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  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
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  • 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
  • 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
  • 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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  • 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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  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
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  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • environment watch: karayan abra LOCAL/COMMON NAME SCIENTIFIC NAME SPECIES COMPOSITION Ampalaya Momordica charantia Endemic Apple Molus sp. Endemic Banana Musa sp. Endemic Bataw Dolichos lablab Endemic Beans Paseolus sp. Endemic Cabbage Brasscia sp. Endemic Cafe Coffea sp. Endemic Calamansi Citrus madurensis Endemic/medicinal Cassava Manihot esculante Endemic Chayote Sechum edule Endemic Corn Zea maze Endemic Cowpea Bigna sinensis Endemic Cucumber Cucumis sativa Endemic Damong balang Dactylochtenium aegyptium Endemic Eggplant Solanum melangena Endemic Gabi Colocasia esculenta Endemic Garlic Allium sativum Endemic Ginger Zingeber officinale Endemic Grapes Vitis spp. Introduced Kabatete Luffa acutangula Endemic Kalabasa Cocorbita maxima Endemic/medicinal Kangkong Ipomea sp. Endemic Lansones Lansium domesticum Endemic Lantana Lantana camara Introduced/medicinal Luya Zingiber officinale Introduced Mongo Mangifera indica Endemic Mongo Phaseolus radiata Endemic Mulberry Morus alba Endemic Okra Hibiscus esculantus Endemic Onion Allium cera Endemic Palay Oryza sativa Endemic Pallang Psochocarpus spp. Endemic Papaya Carica papaya Endemic Patani Pheseolus lunatus Endemic Peanut Arachis hypoges Endemic Pechay Brassica chinensis Endemic Pigeon pea Cajenus cajan Endemic Pineapple/pinya Anonas comosus Endemic Sabong-sabong Paspalum flavidium Endemic Sago/korente Endemic Saluyot Corchorus acutangulus Endemic Siling-labuyo Capsium frutescens Endemic Singsigne Drosera peltata Endemic/medicinal Table 4. Flora in the upland ecosystem in the Abra River Watershed.40
  • environment watch: karayan abra Soybean Gycine maw Endemic Squash Cucurbita namins Endemic Sugarcane Saccharium afficarum Endemic Sunflower Helianthus anonus Endemic Sweet potato Ipomea patatas Endemic Tabungao Laganelia siceraria Endemic Tikog Fimbrystillis globusola Endemic Timi Alloteropsis semialata Endemic Tomato Lycopericon esculentum Endemic Tugi Dioscorea spp. Endemic Ube Ipomeas spp. Endemic Watermelon Citriellus lanthus IntroducedTable 4 continued.Source: Common Medicinal Plant of Cordillera Region- CHESTCORE Guide to Philippine Flora and Fauna, Vol. 14 Common grasses in the Cordillera- ResearchB. Fauna1. Forest EcosystemThere are twenty animal species in the forested areas of the river basin; ten of these were identified as endemic.Examples are snakes, butterflies, birds, wild cats and wild deer. Nine are game species; one is an endangered species(Table 5). LOCAL/COMMON NAME SCIENTIFIC NAME SPECIES COMPOSITION Ants Solenopsis geminata Endemic Barklice Endemic Beetles Anthonomus grandis Endemic Blue naped parrot Tanygnatus lucionensis Endemic, game sp Butterflies Colias sp. Endemic Flies (scorpion) Bittacus sp. Endemic Honeybee Apis mellifera Endemic Maya Endemic, game sp. Philippine monkey Mocaca philippinensis Endemic Painted Quail Coturnix chinensis lineata Endemic, game sp. Philippine cockatoo Kakatoe haematuropygia Endemic, game sp. Philippine deer Cervus barandanus Endemic, game sp. Philippine grass owl Tyto capensis amauronota Endemic, game sp. Red jungle fowl Gallus gallus Endemic , game sp. Richard’s Pipit Anthus novaesesslandiae Endemic, game sp. Snake Ptubis sp. Endemic Spiders Salticus sp. Endemic Treehoppers Ceresa bubalus Endemic Wild cat Feliz minuta Endemic Wild pig Sus celebensis Phil. Endemic, endangered, gameTable 5. Fauna in the forest ecosystem in the Abra River Watershed.Source: Zoology Book by Storer, et al. 6th ed.; John G. Tacloy, BSU Forestry Instructor 41
  • environment watch: karayan abra 2. Grassland Ecosystem There are fourteen identified species under the grassland ecosystem. These are all endemic. Not any of these species is introduced, endangered or has medicinal and aesthetic value. The bayawak, quail and edible frog were the identified species that have commercial value (Table 6). LOCAL/COMMON NAME SCIENTIFIC NAME SPECIES COMPOSITION Ant Solenopsis geminata Endemic Bayawak Varanus salvador Endemic Bees Anthidium sp. Endemic Bullfrog Rana sp. Endemic Butterfly Colias sp. Endemic Frog (edible) Rana sp. Endemic Grasshopper Melanoplus differentialis Endemic Lizard Scelopopus magister Endemic Quail Coturnix conturnix Endemic Rat Rattus sp. Endemic Richard’s pipit Anthus movaesee landiae Endemic Snail Helisoka sp. Endemic Snake Ptuophis sp. Endemic Spider Salticus sp. Endemic Table 6. Fauna in the Grassland Ecosystem of Abra River Watershed Source: Zoology Book by Storer, et al. 6th ed. Wildlife in the Cordillera 3. Urban and Rural Ecosystem Forty-three species of animals are present in the urban and rural ecosystem of Abra River Watershed. Thirty-five are endemic, five were introduced, while the rest (3) are migratory. From the total number, eighteen were identified as edible (Table 7).42
  • environment watch: karayan abra LOCAL/COMMON NAME SCIENTIFIC NAME SPECIES COMPOSITION Ants Solenopsis germinata Endemic Bat Eptesicus fuscua Endemic Bees Anthidium sp. Endemic Beetle Anthronomous grandis Endemic Bird lice Mallophaga spp. Endemic Biting lice Anoplura spp. Endemic Booklice Liposcells divinatoira Endemic Bullfrog Rana sp. Introduced Butterfly Colias euretheme Endemic Carabao Bubalus bubalis Endemic Cat Felis catrus Endemic Cattle Chleofaga picta Endemic Chicken Gallus gallus Endemic Cockroaches Pacroblatia pennsylvanica Endemic Crow Corbus sp. Endemic Dog Carnis familiaris Endemic Dove Steelopopus sp. Endemic Duck Oritolagus cuniculus Endemic Flies Drosphila spp. Endemic Frog Rana sp. Endemic Goat Caparus hicus Endemic Goose Chloephaga picta Introduced Grasshopper Melanoplus differentiale Migratory Honeybee Apis wellifera Introduced Horse Equus caballus Endemic Lizard Meteageris gallopayo Endemic Locust Dissosteira carolina Migratory Martines/Myna Acridotheses cristatelius Introduced Owl Bubo virginianus Endemic Pig Sus scrofa Endemic Quail Coturnim conturnim Endemic Rabbit Sylvilagus spp. Endemic Rat Ratus sp. Endemic Richard’s pipit Anthuss novaesee landae Endemic Sheep Ovis aries Introduced Snail Helisoma sp. Endemic Snake Bos taurus Endemic Spider Pachylomerus sp. Endemic Sucking lice Polypax spinulosa Endemic Swallow Hirundo rustica Migratory Termite Awitermes tubiformans Endemic Turkey Ptruophis sp. Endemic Weevils Hypera postica EndemicTable 7. Fauna in the Rural and Urban Ecosystem of Abra River Watershed.Source: Zoology Book by Storer, et al. 6th ed.; John G. Tacloy, BSU Forestry Instructor 43
  • environment watch: karayan abra 4. Cropland/Agricultural Ecosystem All the identified animal species in the cropland/agricultural ecosystem of Abra River Watershed are endemic. Because of the vegetative characteristics, most of the species living in the ecosystem belong to the animal kingdom. Example of these are snails, spiders, leeches and locust. Other species found in the area are the rats, snakes, lizards and edible frog. (Table 8). LOCAL/COMMON NAME SCIENTIFIC NAME SPECIES COMPOSITION Ant Solenopsis geminata Endemic Aphids Aphis gossypil Endemic Bees Anthidium sp. Endemic Beetles Scarabaeus sacer Endemic Bull frog Rana sp. Endemic Butterfly Colias sp. Endemic Corn Root Aphids Apis maidiradicis Endemic Crickets Grylltalpa hemadulacta Endemic Dusil Coturnim coturnim Endemic Frog (edible) Rana sp. Endemic Grasshopper Melanoplus differentiales Endemic Leafhopper Empoasca fabae Endemic Leech Glossiponia sp. Endemic Lizard Scelopopus magister Endemic Locust Dissoteria carolina Endemic Mantis Stagromantis carolina Endemic Rat Ratus sp. Endemic Snail Helisoka sp. Endemic Snake Ptuophiz sp. Endemic Spider Salticus sp. Endemic Table 8. Fauna in the Cropland/Agricultural Ecosystem of Abra Watershed. Source: Zoology Book by Storer, et al. 6th ed. Wildlife in the Cordillera44
  • environment watch: karayan abra5. River EcosystemSeventeen animal species are also present in the river ecosystem; thirteen are endemic and four were introduced. Someof these identified species are tilapia, golden kuhol and the carp (Table 9). LOCAL/COMMON NAME SCIENTIFIC NAME SPECIES COMPOSITION Carpa/Milkfish Cayprinus carpio Introduced Crabs Carcinedes maenas Endemic Damselflies Argia sp. Endemic Diving beetle Scarabaeus spp. Endemic Dragonflies Anai junius Endemic Eel Anguila rostrata Endemic Fishflies Corydaluz sp. Endemic Frog (edible) Rana sp. Endemic Goby Globius sp. Endemic Leech Glossiphonia sp. Endemic Mayflies Leptophlebia sp. Endemic Shrimp Penaeus sp. Introduced Snail (Golden) Kelisome sp. Introduced Stoneflies Brachyptera sp. Endemic Tilapia Tilapia nilotica Introduced Turtle Chaelydra serpentina Endemic Water scavenger beetle Hydrophilus triangularis EndemicTable 9. Fauna in the River Ecosystem of Abra River Watershed.Source: Zoology Book by Storer, et al. 6th ed. Wildlife in the Cordillera 45
  • environment watch: karayan abra46
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  • environment watch: karayan abra effects of corporate mining on the abra river system (2002 report) Why should we be concerned about the Abra River system? tery, vegetables, fruits, tubers, rice, various livestock, Yearly fish kills, death of domestic animals that drink fish and salt, and various merchandise from other South- from its banks, skin disease among those who bathe in it, east Asian countries such as ceramics found their way poor agricultural yield, disappearing fish and plant life – into the Cordillera Central partly through the same river. these are some of the complaints aired by communities living along the banks of the Abra River. The existence of The villages along the Abra River system have also wit- rich river flora and fauna and the use of watercraft for nessed struggles against colonial domination. One of the small-scale trade even in the smaller rivers that the Abra more prominent accounts is that of the Tinio Brigade, River supplied are now only familiar in oral accounts. Is which concentrated its troops at the villages on the mouth the Abra River biologically dying? Is it on the brink of of the River at the turn of the 20th century to fight against environmental collapse? What will be the fate of the in- American aggression. digenous peoples, peasants and fisherfolk living along its banks? Let us act now before it is too late. Who is affected by the demise of the Abra What is the historical significance of the Abra River sys- River? tem to the peoples of the Cordillera and Ilocos Regions? The numerous communities along the Abra River and With its headwaters originating from Mt. Data along the the smaller rivers (which the former supplies) who de- Mountain Province-Mankayan, Benguet border and its pend mostly on farming and fishing as means of liveli- estuary situated in Caoayan, Ilocos Sur, the Abra River hood are greatly threatened. An estimated population of traverses the present Cordillera 197,630 individuals or 38,321 households is presently affected or at risk from immediate expansion plans of the The Abra River system has played a very significant role Lepanto Consolidated Mining Corporation (Lepanto/ in the socio-economic and cultural development of the LCMCo). Ilocos and Cordillera regions even in pre-colonial times. Passing through Kankana-ey, Tinggian (or Itneg) and To locate them in their regional context, these communi- Ilokano territories, the navigable river facilitated trade ties belong to the Isnag, Tinggian, Kankana-ey, Bontok and socio-cultural exchange not only between the upland and Ibaloy which are five of at least eleven major and lowland communities but also between the natives ethnolinguistic groups in the Cordillera Region. Mean- and merchants from other Southeast Asian countries. while, the more heterogeneous non-Cordillera section of Gold, honey, bees’ wax, rattan baskets and dyes from the the regional population (composed of the dominant Cordillera were transported downstream to the ancient Ilocanos and settlers from other Philippine provinces who settlement and trade center of Vigan. On the other hand, reside in the urban and more central towns) are a little Iloko products such as handloom-woven (abel) fabrics, pot- less than the indigenous population.48
  • environment watch: karayan abraTable 1. COMMUNITIES ALONG THE BANKS OF THE ABRA RIVER, PRESENTLY AFFECTED OR THREATENED BYFUTURE EXPANSION OF LEPANTO (Please refer to Listing of Communities Along the Abra River) PROVINCE MUNICIPALITIES INDIVIDUALS HOUSEHOLDS BENGUET 1 34,502 6,495 (2) (67,679) (12,807) MOUNTAIN PROVINCE (3) (42,537) (8,170) ILOCOS SUR 7 38,841 7,664 ABRA (excluding Dolores) 10 48,573 9,680 TOTAL 18 121,916 23,839 (22) (197,630) (38,321)*Numbers in ( ) include populations threatened by future expansion.For the indigenous people, “Land is life.” It is not a com- ing plants. The Abra River’s watersheds have all beenmodity to be bought or sold, nor is it a source of wealth to denuded primarily by large mining companies. First,be exploited and depleted. The river system serves as the the Sociedad Minero-Metallurgica Cantabro-Filipina felledlifeblood for sustainable subsistence production. For tra- half the pine timberstands of Mankayan. Afterwards, theditional small-scale mining communities, waterways are Suyoc Mining Company and the Lepanto Consolidatedalso very important. River systems are an integral com- Mining Company decimated Mankayan’s remaining pineponent of the ancestral domain of the indigenous peoples. forests then extended their logging activities to neighbor-Thus, the land, the waterways and the resources they ing Benguet municipalities. Heald Lumber, a onetimecontain must be cared for by the entire community. subsidiary of the present Benguet Corporation, harvested pine timber for its mother company’s mines down south,To safeguard their ancestral domain, the indigenous in Itogon, from Mount Data, where the Abra River origi-peoples have set up traditional institutions covering a nates. Heald also harvested timber from the mountainswide range of concerns: social organization, decision-mak- of Bakun.ing by elders, collective responsibility over the control A possible source of river poisoning is the use of chemicaland management of natural resources, economic coop- pesticides and fertilizers that eventually find their wayeration, and modes of dispute settlement. These centu- into the river. In Abra province, logging is also a cause ofries-old indigenous institutions (or the customary system) concern because it contributes to river siltation. The op-persist in varying degrees, oftentimes alongside the in- erations of the Cellophil Resources Corporation in the 1970stroduced institutions (under the state system or national is a prime contributor to this deforestation. Some sourceslaw). also cite the July 1990 earthquake as a contributor to changes in the Abra River’s flow.What is the principal cause of the disinte-gration of the life support systems within How did corporate mining start along theand surrounding the Abra river system? Abra River?Large-scale mining operations in the area where the Abra Corporate mining activities and its effects center aroundRiver originates destroys the ecological balance not only the northernmost section of Mankayan in Benguet, theof the river system itself but also of the four surrounding tri-boundary area of Ilocos-Mountain Province and Abraprovinces which it traverses. (where Besao and Tubo are located respectively), as well as the eastern flanks of Ilocos Sur. These communitiesDeforestation is also caused by mining operations, which have long utilized their natural resource base for subsis-include the logging of timber for use as tunnel shoring or tence production. This is well-documented in the localas fuel in the furnaces of ore-smelting and bullion-mint- histories of Mankayan, Quirino, Tubtuba and Besao. 49
  • environment watch: karayan abra The Spanish colonial period caused the dispersion of some rest of Benguet and the Cordillera region. of the villages, or consolidation of other dispersed settle- ments into compact villages. Mankayan was already in- While Mankayan developed a local economy based on volved in copper mining in the southern Kankana-ey re- wage labor related to mining operations, Cervantes and gion, even before the establishment of the Sociedad Minero- Quirino evolved into becoming a rice granary and cattle Metallurgica Cantabro-Filipino de Mankayan in 1862. grazing area for the southern Kankana-ey and Ilocos foot- The Spanish company operated for 19 years. hills. Thus has corporate mining become a major indus- trial and commercial influence in the lives of the com- The American colonial rule set into motion a process of munities not only in Mankayan but even for the wider dispossession and displacement of the indigenous inhabit- river basin that includes Cervantes, Quirino, and the riv- ants of Mankayan. American prospectors belonging to erine villages of Tubo, Abra. the American Colorado Volunteer Army organized a min- ing association. Several colonial laws such as the Public Mitsui company operated the mine for 3 years during Land Act of 1903 and the Mining Act of 1905 paved the the Japanese occupation, in World War II. The Lepanto way for the entry of American mining interests and the Consolidated Mining Company resumed operations by expropriation of all public lands by the American govern- 1947. In the early 1980s, the Far Southeast porphyry ment. copper deposit was discovered. It is a huge but deep-seated A mining boom started in the 1930s. The increase of gold copper deposit. In 1995, the LCMCo discovered high grade prices, the high gold content of the mine’s ore and the gold deposits (Victoria). Victoria gold operations com- improved access roads paved the way for large-scale min- menced in 1997. In that year, LCMCo produced 3,432.27 ing operations to begin. In 1936, a group of prospectors led kilos of gold which was valued at $36, 245, 852 or PHP by Victor Lednicky formed the Lepanto Consolidated Min- 1.47 B. This gold harvest and the production that con- ing Company (LCMCo). The company built the country’s tinues to the present produced the highest rates of profit first copper plant, operating successfully as to draw in since the company started. migrants from the Ilocos provinces, Pangasinan and the TABLE 2. VOLUME OF GOLD AND SILVER PRODUCTION AT LEPANTO, 1997-2001 YEAR GOLD(kilograms) SILVER(kilograms) US $ PHP 1997 3,432.27 2,831.98 36,245,852 1,465,000,000 1998 4,531.78 3,561.35 43,472,002 1,834,000,000 1999 3,940.81 4,553.55 36,123,710 1,407,000,000 2000 5,444.52 11,054.18 48,905,939 2,125,000,000 2001 7,964.36 22,280.06 47,624,808 2,375,000,000 2002 3,249.31 4,067.52 36,217,552 1,810,877,60050
  • environment watch: karayan abraHow has corporate mining adversely the introduction of commercialism and consumerism.affected the Abra River system? Indigenous communities have been displaced from their ancestral lands by force, deceit or unfair laws.Preliminary studies of the effects of corporate mining onthe Abra River have identified the following major ef-fects: In terms of biodiversity, what has been lost? The drainage area of the Abra River is home to aboutIn terms of biodiversity, the loss of aquatic, plant and bird 1689 species of plants belonging to 144 families, includ-life are great. ing 177 species of orchids in 47 genera. More than half (51.2%) of the plants found within the area are classifiedPhysico-chemical analyses indicate that heavy metal con- as endemics with 60.7% of all the orchids species classi-tent in the waters and soil downstream from the mining fied as such.operations is elevated. Benguet has the highest plant species diversity withinIn terms of human health, toxic affects have been attrib- the basin area while Ilocos Sur has the lowest with onlyuted to direct exposure to mine drainage. Workers’ occu- 120 of the total species found in the basin.pational health and safety is also a grave concern. The Environmental Investigatory Mission conducted in September 2002 noted gross differences between the wa-In terms of economic impact, there is loss of livelihood due terways located directly downstream from Lepanto min-to the effects of industrial pollution on agriculture and ing operations and tributaries originating from sourcesfisheries. elsewhere.In terms of social impact, there is destruction of indig- From interviews, loss of aquatic and plant life in the areasenous communities and their traditional systems, and downstream, is reportedly most visible from Camay toComparison of Baguyos River (or-ange), which is downstream fromLepanto operations, and Apaoan River(clear), which originates elsewherefrom the Mountain Province 51
  • environment watch: karayan abra Besayot. Information from APIT-TAKO (Alliance of Peas- from both surface and underground mine workings, waste ants in the Cordillera Homeland) has it that when LCMCo and development rock, tailings piles and tailings ponds. started a fishpond project in Camay in March 2001, all the fingerlings died after only 4 days. It is common knowl- AMD is “metal-rich water formed from chemical reaction edge among Besayot fishpond owners that if their ponds between water and rocks containing sulfur-bearing min- become contaminated with water from the Mankayan erals”. Dissolved iron and sulfuric acid is formed from the River, 80% of the fingerlings will die as compared to the exposure of pyrite (an iron sulfide) rock to air and water. usual 20% or less. AMD has a low pH, increased acidity, elevated heavy metals, sulfate and total dissolved solid components. The Aquatic organisms like the udang (shrimp) and igat (eel) low pH water is capable of solubilizing heavy metals con- are reportedly becoming rare. Residents observe fish dis- tained within the waste rock. The pH conditions that have ease and deterioration, aside from a drop in fish catch. been proven deadly to aquatic life are those that fall be- Interviews similarly revealed abnormalities in fish low 3 while the prescribed pH range for agricultural lands caught downstream, with the local people referring to is between 6 to 9. the deformity as “kurikong”. Fisherfolk near the mouth of the Abra River at Vigan and at Bantay, Ilocos Sur re- Foreign authorities apply more stringent standards. Ac- port making the same observation since six (6) years ago. cording to the Environmental Quality Institute of the The fishkill that occurs every rainy season is a familiar University of North Carolina-Ashville, natural pH in story to most of the villages. On Good Friday 2003, streams should be in the range of 6.5-7.2. Because organ- fishkills were reported in Quirino, Ilocos Sur. On 17 May isms in aquatic environments have adapted to these natu- 2003, another fishkill was reported in Manabo, Luba and ral conditions, even small fluctuations in pH can inter- Tubo, Abra. fere with their reproduction or kill them outright. The loss in aquatic life is a major change in the life sup- The results of chemical tests on water samples during the port system of the communities who used to rely solely on Environmental Investigatory Mission held in September freshwater resources for day-to-day food. 2002 are as follows: Not only are household livelihood sources seriously de- Water samples from all sites registered pH values rang- stroyed and disrupted because of the ecological effects of ing from 8-9 except for the sample from the impound- industrial pollution, but so is the general biodiversity sta- ment that gave a pH reading of 5. The latter is expected tus of the local communities damaged, thus causing break- since the impoundment serves as the catchment basin of downs in the food web. Among the changes that were re- mining wastes. The observation that the rest of the water ported is the disappearance of once-common birds and samples gave pH values in the alkaline range could be a tree species. Among the bird species reported to now be result of the liming of the water in the impoundment as a rarely seen are: pagaw, tuklaw, and kannaway. Trees way of neutralizing the acidic species collected in the im- such as the kamantires and burbala were also identified to poundment. However, there is no indication how regular be no longer found in significant quantities. Particularly treatment is applied on the impoundment so as to estab- in Camay, for instance, it is reported that trees and snow lish if the treatment is consistent and effective. (Based on peas planted along the banks of the Abra River do not bear the observation of the Environmental Investigatory Team fruit anymore. at the liming site, there is a single worker per shift apply- ing lime to the mine drainage. The worker is not required What poisons are found in the Abra River? to follow any strict guidelines nor is any testing done as In a study by the US Environmental Protection Agency, basis for how much lime is applied.) it was estimated that one-half of waste generated by mines is mining waste while one-third is tailings. The most seri- Other evidence indicates that water pH is not maintained ous problem is Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) which comes within the optimal range throughout the year:52
  • environment watch: karayan abra(a) The low pH of mine drainage is capable of solubilizing tailings are released into the Mankayan River duringheavy metals. This corrosive property of the Mankayan heavy rainfall.River is common knowledge among residents in surround-ing communities. One resident who used gravel from the (d) Residents who have eaten fish during times of fish killMankayan River for construction of his house reported report that these taste sour.that the steel bar reinforcements were corroded after afew months. Consider the heavy metal levels obtained by the Envi- ronmental Investigatory Mission and Lepanto (as re-(b) As AMD flows away from its source, discoloration of ported during their June 2003 Press Conference) whenthe streambed in its path occurs as solid metal hydroxides compared with the US Environmental Protection Agencyprecipitate. This process is probably responsible for the National Recommended Water Quality Criteria (2002)*:reddish orange discoloration that is evident along the (These standards represent “criteria for water quality ac-Mankayan River. curately reflecting the latest scientific knowledge. . . based solely on data and scientific judgments on the rela-(c) Sulfuric acid is also probably responsible for the ‘rot- tionship between pollutant concentrations and en-ten eggs’ (septic) smell that residents report when mine vironmental and human health effects.”) Reddish-orange discoloration of the river along the outlet of Lepanto Mine Tailings Dam 5A 53
  • environment watch: karayan abra TABLE 3. LEVELS OF SELECTED HEAVY METALS DOWNSTREAM FROM GOLD MINING OPERATIONS, MANKAYAN AND CERVANTES, SEPTEMBER 2002 Analyte DENR US EPA Tailings Down- Lepanto Standard1 Standard Dam stream at (date of 995mg/L 2002 5ASept Sitio collec- mcg/mL 02mcg/ Camay tion mL Sept un- 02mcg/ known) mL CMC CCC Lead 0.2 0.065 0.0025 0.02 ND 0.1 Mercury 0.005 0.0014 0.00077 ND ND BDL Cadmium 0.05 0.0020 0.0025 0.0020 ND 0.01 Copper No standard 0.013 0.009 0.67 0.17 0.2 Arsenic 0.05 0.340 0.150 ND ND BDL BDL=below detectable limits; ND=none determined/below detectable limits CMC=Criteria Maximum Concentration (highest concentration of a material in surface water to which an aquatic community can be exposed briefly without resulting in an unacceptable result) CCC=Criterion Continuous Concentration (highest concentration of a material in surface water to which an aquatic community can be exposed indefinitely without resulting in an unacceptable effect) More LEAD is absorbed by children and persons deficient in calcium, iron and vitamin D (as may be found among low-income groups as those living along the Abra River). Lead can cause convulsions, memory deficits, personal- ity changes and nerve damage (wrist or foot drop). Its most deleterious effect is on the developing fetus and grow- ing children, where even minute amounts can adversely affect IQ level and over-all mental development. On the other hand, chronic exposure to COPPER causes damage to the liver and kidneys. CADMIUM also causes damage to the kidneys and lungs, and is suspected to be a cancer- causing agent. A primary cause for concern is the use of CYANIDE in corporate mining. Lepanto uses cyanide to extract gold – an estimated 3,000 kg of cyanide every 24 hours.54
  • environment watch: karayan abraHow is the health of the communities 1. Decreased agricultural yieldalong the Abra River affected by industrial Residents of Malideg, Quirino report a 30% decrease inpollution? the yield of traditional rice varieties especially since theThe most common signs and symptoms felt by residents accumulation of industrial mining and pollution. For awho have inhaled chemical fumes emanating from mine community previously known to be the rice granary fordrainage are: headache, dizziness, cough, chest pain, na- a much larger sub-region, the yield drops are attributedsal and eye irritation. Other symptoms reported were itch- to several reasons: siltation of the rivers, deterioration ofing of the skin, rashes and diarrhea. As reported earlier soil quality, stunted growth, diseased plant varieties.by APIT TAKO, as far as Quirino, Ilocos Sur residents re-port that wounds take longer to heal when exposed to the The cropping area has been reduced by as much as 50% asAbra River. the sediment of thick, black or cement-like soil continu- ously piles up in the middle of riverways, thus forcing theBecause of past adverse reactions, it is common knowl- water to flow into the cropped sections of the flatlands.edge and practice among the communities to avoid con- Residents of Camay and Kayan in Pilapil, meanwhile,tact with river water. They do not allow their children to observe the stunted growth of rice stalks from 70 cm tobathe in the river. Nor do they allow their animals to only 30-40 cm. Harvests, according to a number of infor-drink from it. mants, are significantly lower in areas directly exposed to the run-off from the Mankayan River.There were also suspicious cases of birth defects such ascerebral palsy, dwarfism and developmental delay. Some The drop in rice yields was first observed in the 1980s asspontaneous abortions were also reported. a result of the typhoons between 1988-1989 which led to the destruction of the Tailings Dams 1, 2, and 3. It wasCancer (malignancy or malignant neoplasms) is also a reported that LCMCo was made liable for the destructioncause for further study. Cancer is among the top 3 causes of the rice fields due to siltation and the hardening of theof mortality in Cervantes, Ilocos Sur and Mankayan, soils because of the sediments, thus making the land unfitBenguet. While cancer is multifactorial, the long-term for agricultural purposes. The tailings harden like ce-(almost 7 decades) exposure of residents to mine drainage ment along the river bed. It causes widening andfrom the operations of Lepanto Consolidated Mining Cor- shallowing of the Mankayan River such that there isporation is a significant factor to consider. The use of backflow to its tributaries. This is especially evident inpesticides in these agricultural areas must be investigated the junction of the Ap-apid and Abra Rivers (in Awweg)as a possible etiology as well. where the backflow extends 1 km. As a result, 10 hectares of farmlands have been destroyed.The more subtle impact of loss of food resources on thenutritional status of residents of the area has not been During one instance when the tailings dam collapsed in adocumented either. Furthermore, malnutrition makes typhoon in the late 1980s, one person was compensatedpeople more vulnerable to the toxic effects of some heavy by the company for damages in the amount of P25,000.00metals and chemicals. for some 17 hectares of damaged lands – a measly figure which would have been re-appealed had the governmentHow is the people’s livelihood affected? stepped in to facilitate the community’s demand for rec- ompense.The reports from previous documentation and researchby APITTAKO and confirmed by interviews during the Among the agriculturists and foresters in the Environ-Environmental Investigatory Mission revealed the fol- mental Investigatory Mission team, the black soil exam-lowing trends in livelihood systems : ined in Cabiten, commonly perceived to be fertile, was 55
  • environment watch: karayan abra reported to have poor plant growth. Similarly, cowpeas A soil sample taken by the Environmental Investigatory and corn are reported not to prosper, while banana fruits Mission Team in September 2002 showed elevated levels are likewise diseased when grown in these locations near of arsenic and copper in Sitio Camay, Cervantes, Ilocos the impoundment. Sur where the rice plants were observed to be growing abnormally. The effects of copper have been described Water draining into the ricefields was found to be odor- above. Arsenic, on the other hand, is a proven cause of ous. While further studies need to be undertaken to look human cancers. more closely into the connection between the abnormal 2. Deterioration of riparian life plant growth and the operations of LCMCo, initial obser- The loss in aquatic life, as previously discussed, is a major vation and interview data point to industrial pollution as change in the life support system of the communities who immediate change factor in the deteriorating quality of used to rely solely on freshwater resources for day-to-day the agricultural ecosystem. food. TABLE 4. LEVELS OF SELECTED HEAVY METALS IN The site where Lepanto’s mine tailings are released from SOIL SAMPLE: CAMAY, CERVANTES, ILOCOS SUR, its mill used to be known as Maudangan (place of many SEPTEMBER 2002 shrimps). Today, the water is a thick, grayish muck. Analyte Standard Value* Soil at Camay Lead 5-25 mcg/g 2.8 mcg/g 3. Death of domestic animals Mercury 0.02-0.625 0.06 For an area previously known to have enjoyed extensive Cadmium ? ND grasslands as to hold more than a thousand heads of cattle Copper 2-250 347 at any time before the 1960s, the absence of cows and Arsenic 0.2-40 64 carabaos nowadays is indicative of a serious loss in food * “Standard Treatment Guidelines for Occupational Poisoning”, and cash resources. Animals who drink from the National Poison Control and Information Service, University of the Philippines College of Medicine-Philippine General Hospital and Mankayan River down to the Abra River after heavy Non-Communicable Disease Control Service, Department of Health bbrains are reported to die a few days after exposure, with their intestines filled with what appears to be hardened mud. The linings of the intestines appear burnt and crumble easily. Governor Vicente Valera, Jr. of Abra also spoke of similar incidents, “Way back in the late eighties, we experienced here in Abra, particularly in the municipalities of Luba and Manabo, where some livestock – carabao, cattle, died after drinking from the Abra River.” What other disasters have been linked to corporate mining operations? Before 1936, farmers in the surrounding localities re- ported high yields of indigenous crops. Migrants from the Mountain Province and Ilocos Sur would come to help harvest the bountiful crops. Non-agricultural areas were occupied by large trees such as damortis and acacia. The Mankayan River was then 20-30 feet wide. When the LCMCo commenced operations, they dumped mine tailings and waste straight into the river. It wasAbnormal growth of rice in Sitio Camay, Cervantes; September 200256
  • environment watch: karayan abra Site of the Colalo Elementary School (only the roof is visible at present) after the massive ground subsidence occurred.only in the 1960s when the Tailings Dam No. 1 was built was a high rate of respiratory diseases. The LCMCo wasin Nasulian, Paco. It was abandoned after less than 10 forced to close down the dryer in the face of people’s oppo-years and the land became unsuitable for agriculture. sition.Tailings Dam No. 2 was constructed in the 1970s in Lipa-an, Paco. Its collapse caused the contamination of nearby In 1993, another spillway collapse following a typhoonricefields. Tailings Dam No. 3 and a diversion tunnel gave was documented.way in 1986 during a strong typhoon. The Mines and Geosciences Bureau of the Department ofAside from contaminating adjacent rice fields, the spilled Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-MGB) hastailings encroach on riverbanks downstream. They de- documented the sinking of areas in Mankayan, rangingstroy ricefields located along the riverbanks. They also from 1 cm. in 1994 to up to 1 meter per year.cause the riverbed to rise and the polluted waters tobackflow into other tributaries of the Abra River system, In July 1999, heavy rains triggered a major mass move-including those in the Mountain Province. ment involving 14 hectares in Colalo, Mankayan. The Colalo Elementary School was buried and 1 resident died.In 1985, a copper ore dryer was installed by the LCMCo in Lepanto had been quarrying the area in connection withBarangays Paco, Colalo and Cabiten. Local residents the construction of Tailings Dam 5A. This disaster wasstarted complaining of abnormal withering of crops. Do- documented by the National Institute for Geological Stud-mestic animals died after exhibiting signs of illness. There ies based in the University of the Philippines (Diliman). 57
  • environment watch: karayan abra At present Tailings Dam 5A is operational. The surround- Credit financing may also take the form of a gold-hedging ing communities continue to raise doubts regarding its facility. A mining company may borrow money against safety, given the decades-long history of tailings dams its anticipated inventory of gold bullion. It approaches a collapse in the area and all around the world. Lepanto financing house engaged in gold hedging – i.e., buying boasts that Tailings Dam 5A has been certified as being and selling gold today at prices speculated for tomorrow. “world class” by the Australian firm Woodward-Clyde. The financing house valuates the mining company’s an- (Woodward-Clyde, now renamed URS, is the same firm ticipated gold inventory at an anticipated price for an which was commissioned by the Philippine government anticipated time, taking into account a margin for profit. to study the toxic waste contamination in Clark and Subic. The financing house then loans the value to the mining The government later used this report to describe the prob- company. lem in Subic as “minimal”. Other experts denounce the Woodward-Clyde report as “terribly designed” and “an The Victoria Gold Project of Lepanto is partially financed attempt to spend the most amount of money to produce by long-term credit arrangements with big foreign cor- the least amount of results.”) porations. Lepanto has a Loan and Hedging Facility Agree- ment with NMRothschild and the Dredsner Bank AG which But isn’t the whole economy benefiting allows the company to borrow up to $30 million plus the from the operations of Lepanto as it is also value of 300,000 ounces of gold bullion. It has other long- term loans with other financing institutions, totalling Filipino owned? more than $25 million as of yearend 2001. Lepanto boasts that its mining operations are significant to Philippine economic development. The company is NMRothschild is the biggest mercantile financing house the country’s top producer of both gold and copper, two in the world of mining; it is the #1 bullion trader on the very valuable exports. Its mines are among the very few London Metal Exchange, where a large majority of the large mines in the country that have remained in Fili- world’s gold is bought and sold. Dredsner and another of pino hands. These mines employ thousands of Filipinos at Lepanto’s bankers, Citibank, are similarly giants in world wages that are the highest in the local mining industry. financing. True, Lepanto is predominantly Filipino-owned. Only 12.5% of the company is held by a transnational, Pacific What about Lepanto’s workers? Aren’t Mining Limited. A total of only 39.9% of company stocks they benefiting? is held by foreign investors. Lepanto’s workers get very little of the wealth they cre- ate. The company’s production figures for the year 2001 A consultant from RTZ (formerly Rio Tinto Zinc) also sits show the following: on the Lepanto Board of Directors. TABLE 5. VALUES OF PROFIT AND WAGES AT LEPANTO But investment is not the only means through which for- Gross Profits PhP 2,379,013,000.00 eign capitalists may profit from the operations of Lepanto. Wages Paid to Workers PhP 89,971,050.00 Credit financing is another means by which foreign capi- talists have profited from Philippine mining. Credit fi- To illustrate: nancing may take the form of an outright loan, extended with or without securities, payable on the long or short term, at specific rates of interest, depending on the agree- ment forged between the financier and the mining com- pany. Interests comprise the profit. Securities may re- sult in the financier’s acquiring the properties of the min- ing company, including its mining patents, if any.58
  • environment watch: karayan abraLepanto has steadily been decreasing its regular workforce sources for local and foreign business interests, in part-because it has increasingly mechanized its operations and nership with the national government. On the otherresorted to labor contractualization. From nearly 7,000 hand, indigenous peoples have been systematically andpersons in 1981, the regular workforce has dwindled to historically marginalized. Laws and policies on land andless than 2,000 persons. resources under the context of the colonial Regalian Doc- trine treated indigenous peoples of the Cordillera as ‘squat-The maintenance of workers’ health and safety is another ters’ in their own land. Even with the enactment of theaspect which Lepanto has not been paying attention to. Indigenous Peoples Rights Act, (IPRA), systematic viola-(Please refer to Annex E for a study of the occupational tion of the indigenous peoples’ collective rights continueshealth and safety of Lepanto mineworkers.) to prevail.The surrounding communities have also gained little from The continuing thrust and implementation of destruc-Lepanto’s so-called community projects. Compared to its tive projects and deceptive programs on mining, damsaverage gross earnings of P2 billion a year for the Victoria and energy projects, mega-tourism, logging, Official De-Gold Project alone, Lepanto spent a mere P16.4 million a velopment Aid (ODA) and special economic zones haveyear for its social development projects from 1996-2000. been hyped up and actively pursued in the name of ‘na-It claims to have reforested 250 hectares of land since tional development’ and ‘national interest’. These are1996, yet it owns timber concessions amounting to outrightly violating the collective rights of indigenous13,000 hectares in Benguet and 6,320 hectares in Ilocos peoples to their ancestral lands and resources and theirSur. sovereignty over their territories.Is the pollution caused by corporate min- At present, a total of 155,747 hectares of the Cordillera region is covered by mining applications of local anding in Benguet an isolated case? multinational mining companies, already being processedBy no means is the pollution wrought by Lepanto on the for approval, while applications for more than 13,167Abra River system an isolated case. All over the world, hectares of mineral land have already been approved.corporate mining has wreaked havoc on the environmentand the surrounding communities. The World Informa- In line with the policies of imperialist globalization, tradetion Service on Energy (WISE) Uranium Project has docu- liberalization in particular, the Philippine governmentmented at least 77 cases of tailings dams collapses in the has been consistent in trying to attract foreign miningworld from 1961 to 2002. Prominent tailings dam col- investors. The Mining Act of 1995 grants the following tolapses in the Philippines are those involving the Dizon mining companies: timber rights (the right to cut downCopper Silver Mines, Inc. in San Marcelino, Zambales (Au- forests), water rights (the right to divert water sources),gust and September 2002), Manila Mining Corporation easement rights (the right to drive out communities thatin Placer, Surigao del Norte (April 1999 and September interfere with mining operations) full repatriation of capi-1995), Placer Dome Inc. in Marinduque Island (March tal invested, as well as tax holidays.1996), Philex Mining Corporation in Padcal, Luzon (Janu-ary 1992), and Marinduque Mining and Industrial Cor- Lepanto alone has been responsible for taking over 4,212poration in Sipalay, Negros Occidental (November 1982). hectares or 28% of Mankayan land that used to belong to the indigenous peoples. It has been allowed to do so by theWhy is this allowed to happen all over the national government through the declaration ofPhilippines? Mankayan as a Mining District. Mineral Production Shar-From the colonial period to the present government, the ing Agreements have also been granted by the govern-Cordillera region remains a resource base for extraction ment to Lepanto, allowing it to conduct exploration activi-and exploitation of its human, natural and cultural re- ties in 9,561 hectares in Bontoc and Tadian, Mt. Province. 59
  • environment watch: karayan abra At present, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources is pushing for the passage of the National Miner- als Policy (NMP) – an administrative order that signifies President Macapagal-Arroyo and the executive branch’s endorsement of the mining industry. The government hopes to generate $242 million in investments from 12 mining projects, and $147 million in potential revenues annually. But this will surely result in even more destruc- tion and plunder of lands and resources in the Cordillera. Is there something we can do? A lot! If people are really united on a single issue, we can make a difference for the environment, for the indigenous peoples and peasants in the area. Ultimately, it would be us who would be affected and ultimately it will be a united people who can effect significant changes now and in the future. As the saying goes, small drops of rain precipitates into a gentle shower of change and renewal. We can band together a large group of people, beginning with those who are most affected, to Save the Abra River! People from all walks of life, beginning with the farmers, the indigenous peoples, workers, students, lawyers, church people, teachers, professionals, and even sympathetic government units and line agencies can link arms to stop the devastation of the Abra River. In fact, this effort is now growing in the Save the Abra River Movement. The communities directly affected and/or threatened by the operations of Lepanto have been voicing out their protests for a long time . . . TABLE 6. MAJOR PROTEST ACTIONS LAUNCHED AGAINST LEPANTO 1956 Cervantes; Quirino Start of petitions questioning Lepanto pollution 1970 San Emilio; Tubo; Besao These communities file their own petitions 1988 Cabiten; Colalo Protest vs. copper ore dryer 1991 Cabiten; Colalo Barricade to stop construction of Tailings Dam 5A 1998 Sapid Protest vs. sinking residences 1999 Tabbac Barricade vs. drilling operations Several more people’s protest groups, such as MAQUITACDEG (Mankayan-Quirino-Tadian-Cervantes Danggayan a Gunglo), AM-IN (Am-a ya In-a ay Manakem id AMPIS/ Elders Conference), MALEX (Mankayan Against Lepanto Expansion), TAMA NA ITO (Tadian Movement Against Nepotism, Abuses, Injustice, Transgression and Oppression) and the Quirino People’s Summit Convenors Group have been set up in recent months. Even the Lepanto mineworkers are dissatisfied with the way management has been treating them. From February 1 to March 2, 2003 they launched their own successful strike action. They protested against management policies with regards to a new job classification scheme, compulsory holiday work, early reporting time for underground workers and labor only contracting. major references: Environmental Investigatory Mission (Preliminary Phase) Report, UP Pahinungod et.al., September 2002. Baseline Profile of the Abra River Systems (draft), Save the Abra River Movement, April 2003. Dagiti Epekto ti Panagminas iti Mankayan ken kadagiti Kabangibangna a Lugar, APIT TAKO (Alyansa dagiti Pesante iti Taeng-Kordilyera), 2002.60
  • environment watch: karayan abra Excerpts from the “Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous peoples”, submitted to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, 5 March 2003Major human rights issues for Philippineindigenous peoplesResource management and sustainable development (Para- national standards of environmental management, andgraph 35) he also spoke with family members of the local mine work- ers who explained that were it not for the mine they would“. . . The operations of the Lepanto Victoria gold mine in probably be out of work altogether. While no doubt someMankayan, Benguet province (Luzon), has disrupted the community members have benefited from the mine’s op-lives of indigenous communities in the area, who com- eration, others who attempt to maintain their traditionalplain about serious environmental deterioration, health ways of life have indeed suffered. They despair of the facthazards due to the discharge of toxic wastes and tailings, that their needs and interests were not taken into accountdisregard for indigenous land resource rights, non-com- when mining operations were decided upon, and they fearpliance with the principle of free and prior consent, and the company’s intention to expand its activities in thedisruption of traditional lifestyles and livelihoods. Pollu- future. Those who have worked in the mine complain oftion of the river, rice-paddies, destruction of fruits and low wages and sub-standard working conditions.”cattle, and potable water shortage for indigenous peoplesin the area were also mentioned. A dam with tailings had Executive summarycollapsed some years before, causing extensive damage, In view of the above, the Special Rapporteur makes theand the community fears that yet another dam might following recommendations to the Government of the Phil-collapse, which would further impact the environment. ippines and other parties:The activities of the mining company were blamed for therecent collapse of an elementary school, which appeared . . .that resolving land rights issues should at all timesto have been caused by ground subsidence as a result of take priority over commercial development. There needsquarrying to gather material for the raising of a tailings to be recognition not only in law but also in practice of thedam. The communities oppose the proposed expansion of prior right of traditional communities. The idea of priorthe company’s activities in their area, and complain that right being granted to a mining or other business com-the (Philippine) Government and the existing laws accord pany rather than to a community that has held and caredprivileges to the mining enterprise instead of recognizing for the land over generations must be stopped, as it bringsthe rights of the indigenous peoples set forth in the IPRA the whole system of protection of human rights of indig-(Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act). enous peoples into disrepute. Bringing justice to indig- enous communities in the area of land rights is the greatDuring a visit to the Victoria mine, the Special Rappor- historical responsibility of the present Government of theteur was informed by mining executives and given docu- Philippines.”mentation detailing the technical aspects of the opera-tion. He was told that the company abides by strict inter- 61
  • environment watch: karayan abra Indigenous Peoples Rights Act: a new beginning Conflict of Laws (Paragraph 22) “The protection of indigenous rights may be hampered, Government under the 1995 Mining Act continue to op- however, by the conflict of laws between the 1995 Mining erate in these domains despite opposition by indigenous Act and IPRA. The right of indigenous peoples to their communities and organizations. Indigenous representa- ancestral domains and lands and natural resources found tives in the Cordillera region complained to the Special therein is in fact limited by section 56 of IPRA, which Rapporteur that the interests of business enterprises un- provides that property rights within the ancestral do- der the Mining Act are better protected than their right mains already existing and/or vested shall be recognized to their ancestral lands.” and respected. Thus, mining companies licensed by the62
  • environment watch: karayan abraquick facts and figures Number of People Affected by Lepanto Operations 121,916 individuals 23,839 households Number of People Affected by Lepanto Operations or 197,630 individuals Threatened households by its Expansion 38,321 households Lepanto Mining Claims 309 mining claims 4,212 hectares 28% of Mankayan land area Amount of Gold Produced by Lepanto (2001) 7,964.36 kg PhP 2,375,000,000 Estimated Gold Yield 7.13 grams/ ton of ore Amount of Cyanide Used 3,000 kg/ day Estimated Mine Wastes Produced 1,500 tons/ day Pending Mining Applications in the Cordillera Region 433,410 hectares 24% of total CAR land area Approved Mining Applications in the Cordillera Region 13,167 hectares 63
  • environment watch: karayan abra the new gold rush era Gold is currently the most lucrative investment Jewelry fabricators are the biggest consumers of sector in the mining industry. Global demand for mined gold. In 1995, they accounted for 84% of gold gold increased from 3,573 tons in 1992 to 3,642 consumption. Demand is strongest in Asia and so- tons in 1995. Gold exploration dominates mining called tiger economies. In India, the traditional dow- investment portfolios across the world. In 1995, 55% ries of brides and the emergence of middle class en- of the available funds went into gold exploration. A hance demand for gold as a symbol of status. In West survey conducted by the East-West Center in 1990 Asia, Indonesia and Latin America, jewel workshops shows that 97% of the mining companies rank gold are increasing in importance. More than adorn- as the number one exploration target. An update ment, jewelry is an important store of value. of the survey in 1997 confirms that gold remains as the most coveted mineral of the 1990s. Gold is indestructible. Some 600 tons of “scrap” gold are recycled annually and 90% of all mined gold is The new gold-rush era may be understood within available for reuse. It is also uniquely malleable the context of the global economic crisis. Gold is a and ductile, and an unrivalled conductor of elec- peculiar commodity that reacts inversely to crisis. tricity. Thus, demand from telecommunications, During global economic recession, demand for gold computers and automobiles is modestly expanding. increases. In times of wars and currency turmoil, Meanwhile, industry and medicine account for about the price of gold increases. But when interest rates 12% of annual gold demand. are high and inflation seems under control, the gold market “bottoms out”. Gold is the traditional store of value – a fail-safe currency against bad times. Investors buy gold when prospects of other assets are risky. Excerpts from “Globalizing Philippine Mining”, chapter 2, by Antonio Tujan, Jr. and Rosario Bella Guzman, IBON Foundation Inc., 200264
  • environment watch: karayan abracyanide: gold’s killing companionCyanide is the most popular chemical used by mining ground, under cloudy or rainy conditions such as are seencorporations to extract gold from ore, despite the fact that in tropical countries. If the cyanide solution is slightlyleaks or spills of this chemical are extremely toxic to fish, acidic, it can turn into cyanide gas, which is extremelyplant life and human beings. toxic. Furthermore, if the solution is alkaline the cyanide does not break down.Cyanide combines with up to 97% of gold, including par-ticles of gold that are too small to be seen by the naked Many of the breakdown compounds (of cyanide), are stilleye. This makes it a very efficient process chemical for toxic to aquatic organisms, and may persist in the envi-the extraction of the metal. Cyanide leaching was pro- ronment for significant periods of time.moted by the United States Bureau of Mines to replace theolder mercury amalgamation processes. It involves spray- Cyanate may persist in water for significant, but unde-ing a sodium cyanide solution on finely ground ore. The fined periods of time. Ammonia, another breakdown prod-gold forms a water-soluble chemical compound with the uct, is considered to be about as toxic to fish as cyanide.cyanide called a “pregnant solution” which is then runover activated carbon to extract the gold. Some compa-nies process the ore in vats allowing the cyanide to berecycled.A teaspoonful of 2% solution of cyanide can kill a humanadult.Concentrations as low as 5 mcg/L have been found to in-hibit fish reproduction. Toxicity increases with any re-duction in dissolved oxygen below 100%.Mining companies say that cyanide in water rapidlybreaks down in the presence of sunlight and oxygen. Cya-nide swallowed by fish will not “bio-accumulate”.What mining companies don’t tell you is that cya-nide solution will not break down when it seeps under-Excerpts from “The Gold Album: Action Pack—Cyanide by Project Underground; www.moles.org/ ProjectUnderground/reports/ goldpack/goldpack_i.html 65
  • environment watch: karayan abra facts on rio tinto zinc (rtz) (formerly Conzinc Rio Tinto of Australia/ CRA) Rio Tinto is the world’s most powerful mining corpora- pean Union. Another significant problem is the amount tion. It is also one of the largest gold mining companies in of cyanide present in water discharged from the site. the world today. 2. Failure to ensure health, safety and workers Rio Tinto has also been known as a company that fails to rights respect the indigenous peoples, the trade unions and en- vironmental groups. The International Federation of Lassing talc mine, Austria Chemical, Energy, Mines and General Workers’ Unions In July 1998 ten men were drowned or buried alive. They based in Belgium has come up with several case studies in were sent into the collapsing pit in order to secure it, but its 1998 Stakeholders’ Report (Rio Tinto: Behind the in the guise of rescuing the one mineworker who was al- Façade) to illustrate this: ready trapped. 1. Failure to respect indigenous peoples’ rights Rossing uranium mine, Namibia Former employees have been seeking compensation for Grasberg/ Freeport copper and gold mine (Indone- cancers they have developed because of years spent work- sia) ing in clouds of crushed, radioactive uranium without Between December 1996 and October 1997, 16 people facemasks. became victims of human rights violations during mili- tary operations tasked to crush the Free Papua Movement Weipa bauxite mine, Australia and secure the PT Freeport Indonesia project. Rio Tinto The company has been found guilty of discriminating provided 40% of the capital for the expansion of this against workers on the basis of union membership. Over project. The mine subsidises the Indonesian security forces the Christmas 1998 period, the company asked them to to the tune of $30 million per annum. The massive envi- work for free, in exchange for a favourable annual perfor- ronmental damage caused by this project is most felt by mance assessment. the Amungme and Komoro indigenous peoples. 3. Failure to adhere to environmental policy Bougainville copper mine (Papua New Guinea) Beginning in the early 1960s, CRA/RTZ began occupy- Grasberg gold and copper mine, Australia ing the ancestral domain of the Moroni, Guava, Pakia The Indonesian government approved the expansion of and other sub-clans. The company was forced to abandon the Grasberg mine in April 1998. An equivalent of a 10- in 1989 when a dispute over environmental damage and ton truckload of tailings, contaminated by toxic heavy profits from the copper mine led to a 10 year civil war. metals, would then be dumped into the Ajikwa river sys- tem every three seconds. This would not have been al- Kelian gold mine, Indonesia lowed in any developed country. Indigenous Dayak people had linked up with the Indone- sian Environmental Forum (WALHI) and Community Aid Capper Pass tin smelter, England Abroad to document and publicise the social and environ- This is the largest tin smelter in the world. Over 54 years mental damage wrought by the mines. There is a signifi- of operation, it routinely discharged heavy metals and cant acid drainage problem, with manganese levels 200 radioactive materials into the surrounding countryside. times the level permitted in drinking water in the Euro- The discharges may have contributed to an increase in66
  • environment watch: karayan abralepanto mining in mankayanMANKAYAN, BENGUET-Mornings are golden high up theCordillera mountains. Here, timecreeps so slowly you need to checkyour wristwatch constantly tomake sure the day hasn’t snuckpast you while you meditate uponmist-covered vegetable terracesand idly listen to Americancountry music - as staple here ascold rice for breakfast. But it isdeceiving, this languid splendor.And the urgency is etched uponthe weathered faces of Mankayanpeasants in Benguet Provinceselling vegetables at thePoblacion at below-cost prices,the miners hurrying to get totheir shift, mothers tending totheir young. It is written onposters announcing recruitmentdates for overseas work for domestic helpers in Hong Kong and Singapore. The urgency lies like an abandoned tunnelbeneath the surface of Cordillerans waiting to cave in. It quivers in the voices of community leaders concerned aboutthe future of their ancestral lands as they hear tunnels being drilled below their homes and farmlands at night, andthey know that toxic mine tailings are dumped daily into their rivers and streams — the lifeblood of their community.Because while gold, copper and silver are mined in abundance in the bowels of these mountains, its inhabitantsremain among the poorest of the poor.A sign greets visitors of Mankayan at the junction to Bulalacao: “Five kilometers yonder is a gold mine calledVictoria.” For many of its struggling residents, this invitation to awe is cold and empty like the late evenings here.The municipality of Mankayan, Benguet Province is about five hours by bus from Baguio City, or 95 kilometers ofalternately paved and loose gravel winding roads carved on the side of the mountains. It is composed of 12 barangayscovering 16,336 hectares with a total population of 34,502 individuals or 6,495 households. This is home to theKankanaeys, other Igorot communities who have settled here, and lowlanders who work in the mines. Mankayan isalso host to Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company (LCMCo), the 66-year-old company that operates on 301 miningclaims covering 4,008 hectares within the Mankayan Mineral District. (Lepanto also operates two pine forest timberconcession in Benguet and Ilocos Sur covering an area of 20,000 hectares.) The LCMCo principally produces copperas a mine product with gold and silver as by-products. In 1995, the company discovered a high-grade gold depositwhich they named Victoria Gold. In a year, the company outlined a substantial ore resource that could support an 67
  • environment watch: karayan abra initial 1,500 tonnes per day operation. On March 15, 1997, Victoria Gold operation officially came into being, and after only ten months of operation, it produced 106,000 ounces of gold and 71,000 ounces of silver with an income of P342 million, making it the most profitable year in Lepanto’s history. Today, Lepanto boasts of being the country’s leading producer of gold and copper with gross receipts of P2.2 billion yearly. It has about 2,000 employees with 60 percent of them working in the mining group. Recent orders by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to prioritize the unimpeded application of the 1995 Philippine Mining Act have caused indigenous-rights advocates and environmentalists to step up campaigns against destructive development projects and mining. In December 2002, the UN Special Rapporteur for the Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous People, Professor Rodolfo Stavenhagen came to Mankayan In his brief, Stavenhagen shared his impression that the as part of his official visit to gather information “from all indigenous communities and organizations seem to “have relevant sources…on violations of (indigenous peoples’) lost faith in the ability of government agencies and the human rights and fundamental freedoms.” While judicial system to address their concerns effectively.” commending the Philippine government for taking “an Stavenhagen’s report, once completed, will be submitted important step towards the full realization of the rights of to the UN Commission on Human Rights. indigenous peoples” by adopting the Indigenous People Rights Act (IPRA) in Poisoned Water 1997, he echoed concerns raised by indigenous In Sitio Cabitin where the streams entwine to journey communities and their advocates of inconsistent toward Ilocos Sur, a red orange stain stays upon the rocks, provisions within the Act that “may lead to contradictory boulders and water way past the golden sunrise. Aptot or ambiguous interpretations that do not fully favor River now referred to as Lepanto River, flows past the indigenous rights.” IPRA is the same law that President tailings dam that LCMCo built to contain the chemical Arroyo wishes to have reviewed in her effort to push wastes produced from processing gold and copper. The forward the full implementation of the Philippine Mining tailings persistently escape to Lepanto, which mingles Act of 1995. Ironically, Stavenhagen mentioned that with other mineral-rich tributaries and contaminates some laws, including the same controversial Mining Act the water that moves on to irrigate the farms of Ilocos contain provisions “that make the application of IPRA Sur and Abra. Research gathered by University of the difficult.” This observation was made even as the Professor Philippines College Baguio’s Pahinungod (Volunteer visited the Victoria Gold Mine upon invitation and with a Program) in coordination with Community Health and guided tour by the LCMCo. Education, Services and Training in the Cordillera Region68
  • environment watch: karayan abraInc. (CHESTCORE) and the Peasant Alliance for the In the past, the LCMCo blamed these cases to the use ofCordillera Homeland called APIT-TAKO reveal that before potent pesticides by the farmers in the community.1936 when LCMCo commenced its mining activities, Community folks have their own theories.farmers in the surrounding localities reported high yieldsof indigenous crops. Tanasia, who was 64 when he died, was said to be an industrious family man to his wife and eleven children.Back then, the lack of environmental awareness and Over the years he had had various ailments -respiratoryaccountability justified the dumping of mine tailings and infections, ulcers, upset stomach – but none prepared thewaste straight into the river. In 1960, the company built family for his demise on January 8 after he took to bed inTailings Dam No. 1 in Nasulian, Paco but abandoned it in October last year. His sister Glory says Tanasia died fromless than 10 years, rendering the neighboring lands liver cancer that quickly metastasized to his stomach andunsuitable for agriculture. Three more dams were built esophagus. She blames the presence of the Lepantoover the years but they all collapsed, following typhoons containment dam for her brother’s death. “He used toand other natural calamities, contaminating even more pick up logs that were washed down the Lepanto River forricefields. Today, Tailings Dam No. 5 is visible from the firewood. His doctors said that the smoke from those logstop of Sitio might have caused his illness,” relates Ocampo, a retiredColalo, where only recently, a school building collapsed public school teacher now living in Baguio.due to the subsidence of land. The company’s efforts totreat the tailings outlet with lime, as prescribed by the Tanasia built a nipa hut overlooking the ancestral landsDepartment of Environment and Natural Resources, seem his family tilled. From the hut one can see on one side, thefutile as the rust-colored water continues to flow down farmlands bordered by the Dupiri River and, on the other,the river, killing the animals that drink from it, and the toxic water seeping from the dam.permanently dyeing the rocks and boulders in its path. “I remember when I was young, we used to travel twoA Kankanaey family is grieving in Cabitin when we hours by foot to our school and those terraces you seearrived. Gregorio Tanasia died of cancer, his sister Glory filled with silt and tailings used to be ricefields,” saysOcampo insists, but his death certificate indicates cardiac Ocampo. “The company has given livelihood for thefailure. There would be another cancer-related death in people. They have built roads. But they do not take intotown before our weeklong visit would be over. In fact, the consideration the long-term effects of their miningMankayan Rural Health Unit reported 15 cases of various activities on the town.”types of cancer in the region in 2002 alone. The short trek to Tanasia’s house is littered with yellowDr. Ana Leung, chairperson of the Department of banana stalks cut a foot long each to serve as plates forPreventive and Community Medicine at Saint Louis the kanyao, the three to seven-day long festivity followingUniversity and Executive Director of CHESTCORE says an important event in the community — a death perhaps,that “many of the heavy metals and chemicals liberated or a wedding. While many of the Kankanaeys have adoptedin corporate mining, especially arsenic, are carcinogenic.” the Christian religion, some continue to incorporate theirDr. Leung was part of the UP-led team that conducted indigenous practices into their faith, a testimony to theirresearch in Mankayan on the mining effects. “We should fierce resistance against colonial rule.at least be suspicious and wary of cancer cases occurringin the affected areas.” She calls on appropriate agencies Gina Tanasia, 54, sits calmly beside a wall covered withwithin government to document and investigate more plastic shower curtains of lilacs and pink roses. A picturethoroughly the cases that come their way. “How many of her late husband hangs on the curtained wall, lookingmore deaths in Mankayan were cancer-related but never healthy and self-assured as he leans against the railing:documented?” Binga Dam, Barangay Captain, 69
  • environment watch: karayan abra DENR Administrative Officer for the Cordillera 1968, the caption read. The widow has brown, deep-set Administrative Region in Bugyos, Agapito Gallentes, 56, eyes, made sadder still by her loss, high cheekbones and a grew up in Cabitin but is now only a weekend resident. voice that sounded soft but certain. She is half-Kalinga, We catch him watching a movie on cable at his house on brought to these parts from Abra by her husband. They a Sunday afternoon, where nearby, his family tends a have been tilling the less than one vegetable garden. It is quite a vertical hike and we are hectare of ancestral lands for their family’s survival. out-of-breath when we get to his house. The government worker offers us water, which he says is taken from a “The doctors wondered if he was a heavy drinker and natural spring in Cabitin. In our thirst, we disregard the smoker,” she says, “but he didn’t have any vice. He had health alert and empty the glasses. The water is cysts all over his body. Four days before he died, he surprisingly cool and sweet on our tongues. Asked what couldn’t swallow anything. His nose was very sensitive. I he knows of the copper-colored stream running alongside thought he was just delirious when he started talking the vegetable farms, Gallentes relates that it is part of about the containment dam.” She quotes her husband in the Lepanto River and that the animals that drink from Kankanaey, and then translated his words herself in it pee blood and die. He believes, however, that liming English: “Our people are pitiable. They must be wary of the water would neutralize the water’s acidity. “This is the dam. It is not safe. It is contaminating the springs what DENR recommended that mining companies do. If that lie below it.” only they would comply on a regular basis.” Samples taken by the UP-led research team from the It is sad, he comments, that while Mankayan is rich with rivers and streams in Mankayan that come in contact minerals, “life does not improve.” He mentions Philex with the tailings have been found to contain lead and Mining Company and how it had built roads and copper in surface water. Copper and arsenic in soil are infrastructure for the people of Tuba, Benguet. “They also higher compared to maximum limits set helped make life better for the community,” he enthuses. internationally. In the report, they noted the following “When the dam Lepanto built in 1986 collapsed, acres of signs and symptoms residents experienced after being ricefields were destroyed. The company compensated the exposed to the tainted water: headache, dizziness, people with P10 per square meter.” cough, chest pain, nasal and eye irritation. In areas as far as Quirino, Ilocos Sur where the diluted tailings He acknowledges the company’s contribution to eventually pass, people reported that “wounds take Mankayan’s economy by way of employing its people, longer to heal when exposed to the Abra River.” There and does not rally for LCMCo to leave but perhaps, he were also suspicious cases of birth defects such as speculates, the company could do more to contribute to cerebral palsy, dwarfism and developmental delay. the betterment of Mankayan community. Some spontaneous abortions were also reported. Sinking Land “In terms of biodiversity, the loss of aquatic, plant and bird life are great. This loss becomes even more stark In Sapid, Colalo, and Poblacion, where we stayed, the when contrasted with the biodiversity existing in the residents live in fear of another landslide or sinking. In control lake unaffected by industrial pollution,” the the last three years there have been incidents of land study states. “In terms of social impact, there is loss of subsidence, causing buildings and farmlands to collapse. livelihood due to the effects of industrial pollution on Community leaders claim these tragedies were not caused agriculture. Historical evidence shows how the by nature, as DENR reported, but by abandoned tunnels surrounding communities have been transformed from not properly backfilled. An LCMCo underground worker being a former rice granary to communities struggling attests to having seen tunnels “as big as municipal to survive in the present cash economy.” buildings” underneath an area where a school building collapsed only a year ago. Back then, the worker says, the70
  • environment watch: karayan abracompany gives a seven-to-15-day tour of the underground meters below the ground surface. The former Chief oftunnels. “The wood used as pillars to prop up the tunnel Police of Mankayan has led protests and petitions againstwalls probably rotted and collapsed, causing the ground the company for a variety of issues, among them, landto crumble.” The same worker shares that there were subsidence, bulldozing of a graveyard, and the need forinstances when they could hear the noises of trucks community and municipal officials to have access to mapsoverhead as they drill, corroborating beliefs of affected containing mining operation information.residents that the tunnels are dug too close to the surface. “It was in 1983 when a gaping hole appeared on the bottomPerfecto Lasa, 65, an elder and former barangay captain, of the river. The water was going into the tunnels,” hesaid that LCMCo does not follow the government recalled. “After that time, cracks started appearing onrequirement that mining companies drill at least 150 the walls of residential homes and buildings and the roads started sinking.” Lasa, who speaks with the eloquence of a Cracks caused by land sinking. 71
  • environment watch: karayan abra tribal chief, worries about his own properties in the forced the workers to go back where they came from. The Poblacion, about a hundred steps down a man-made next day, they were made to apologize to us.” stairway from his house. He has a store there and a small restaurant where people go for billiards and videoke. In a video her cousin took of the events following the landslide she pointed to us Atty. Agapito Bulislis, LCMCo’s In areas deemed Danger Zones, cracks visibly line the walls legal adviser at the time, and the town councilor Pulido and floors of residential homes like open wounds. Some of Labi, who participated in the negotiations for the the residents have stayed despite efforts by LCMCo to compensation. “We asked them to pay P400,000 so that relocate them, saying Palatong, the sitio above Poblacion we could transfer our livelihood elsewhere where there is where the company tried to no danger. But the company said they would only pay for move them showed signs of sinking as well. “The lands the damaged crops, which the Department of Agriculture that seemed safe were being claimed by other families estimated at P84T. Lepanto refused to pay more.” saying these are their properties not Lepanto’s,” said one Sapid resident who preferred to be identified only as Sapid, Manang said, used to be called Sitio Pinagayan, Manang. Her vegetable farm, located inside the mining meaning ricefields. “All these, including the golf course, compound, was devastated in 1999 when a hole about 50 where the company’s executives play, used to be ricefields. meters deep (“As big as a house!” she insisted) devoured Our family has been here long before Lepanto. When they part of her garden. It took Lepanto a whole day to fill the came and took away our water, we opening with sand and gravel. A year later, another hole planted vegetable gardens instead.” appeared on her untilled land, about a kilometer from her house. The earth shook then, causing fissures on the walls Inside the LCMCo compound, there is a recreation center and floors of her house, which she now covers with old where you can play pool and sing karaoke for P5 a song; a calendars and a vinyl carpet. mill where the rocks are grounded; a golf course where schoolchildren would rather work to retrieve balls instead “We’re just waiting for something to happen,” said the of go to school; and bunkhouses with walls of GI aluminum Kankanaey woman farmer who has six children and five sheets painted a limey green where, in front, lines and grandkids, but whose youthful demeanor and lean, slender lines of laundry hang to dry. There are also residential body belies her 45 years. She fought Lepanto to gain houses like Manang’s, owned by families who have lived compensation for her ruined crops and lands. “They only here long before LCMCo started operating. About 70 per paid for the crops but not for the land,” she said. “We asked cent of the residents have a family member who works them, how could we go back to our lands to work when for the company. there is a danger that it would sink under us? People say there must be an abandoned tunnel underneath our land When asked about the good that the company has done that Lepanto did not fill causing it to collapse, but the for the people of Mankayan, Manang is slow to respond. company denies it. They say they just want to be of help “Well,” she says after a long pause, “at least they fix some to the people. They claim that this is part of their property of the damage they create… If Lepanto is not in Mankayan, but we’ve been here eversince I can remember. We’ve life is going to be the same. If they don’t take the gold then been paying property taxes for these lands.” the people will benefit from it. It is our ancestral land, after all.” She recalled how, after the community got together to report the damage to Lepanto, the company had sent To Kill Softly dumptrucks and bulldozers in the night to start putting In Cordillera, there is a way to prepare chicken without backfill into the hole before anything was settled. “It was spilling blood. A traditional meal called “pinikpikan,” the women residents who got up and drove them away. modern practitioners fondly refer to it as “killing me We said ‘You are like thieves working in the night!’ We softly.” It is said that through the process of beating and burning, the indigenous folks make appeals or ask favors72
  • environment watch: karayan abrafrom Kabunian and/or the spirits of their ancestors. The suffocation from chemical fumes, and accidents involvingnative chicken, our guide claims, make the best machines.pinikpikan, but a Broiler or Cobbs will do. You’ll needfirewood, a clean, flat surface, innasin (smoked, salted “It is hot inside the underground tunnel,” he says. “Everyand aged pork), water, pechay, chayote, and a piece of five minutes, you have to hose yourself down with waterstick. or you’ll get muscle cramps or pass out.”First, you start a fire. Put one wing of the chicken on a flat Mark works the 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. shift and has to report tosurface. Using the stick, beat the wings from the inside work by 6:30. Sometimes, he does a double shift to earnlike you would hit a gong – not too soft and not too hard – extra. While LCMCo prides itself in giving its workersjust enough to numb the fowl, not break its bones. Keep a above-the-minimum wages, Mark says it is still notrhythm as you go from the tip of the wing to the side then commensurate to the amount of risk they take to get theirback. jobs done. The lowest daily wage of regular rank and file is P288.00 or about P40 above the government-stipulatedDo the other wing. Lay its neck sideways on a flat surface minimum amount.and beat it repeatedly from end to end. Beating thechicken makes its blood coagulate, no messy red liquid Felipe, 54, has been working for LCMCo for 18 years anddripping all over the place. gets an average of P310 a day. He says it’s not enough to sustain his family of six. Over the years he has seen manyWhen its strength is gone, you go for the kill. You hold the colleagues die and get injured from falling rocks, machineschicken by its feet and wings in one hand and then you and dynamite shrapnel. Just recently, he relates, a co-hit the back of its head just below the comb. One well- worker named Roberto Farudin was killed after he wasplaced blow should do it. Burn the feathers over the fire. pinned by a Low-Profile-Truck (LPT) while the driver wasDon’t burn your hands when you remove excess feathers. backing out. There were five fatalities in 2002 whoseNow, cook with innasin, chayote and pechay. families got P220,000 each from the company insurance, and some additional contributions from the LCMCoMark, 24, is a miner at Lepanto. He plays his guitar and officials and employees. “In Lepanto, if you are killed whilesings a country song called “Shot to the Heart” as our working, it’s your fault,” Felipe says. Tacked on theguide beats our dinner, and we, the outsiders, exclaim bulletin board by the recreation center is the LCMCo“aray” with every blow. The neighborhood children, some Safety Credo typed on a piece of paper that’s yellowingas young as six, sing along with him like this is some from age. To paraphrase: “The incidence of accident isnursery ditty. Mark has been working at Lepanto for a born from improper attitude, of thoughtlessness or lack ofyear now. He was 18 when he worked for Philex in Tuba, thinking thereof. It is your moral obligation to preventBenguet, where, he claims, the rocks were tougher and accidents.” Ironically, the LCMCo was given Recognitiondidn’t fall off so easily. A co-worker of his at Lepanto was for its health and safety programs by the Department ofrecently injured underground— his leg broke when a piece Labor and Employment (DOLE) in the 3rd Gawadof rock “as big as a toilet sink” fell on it. In fact, the Kaligtasan and Kalusugan awards night. TheInternational Labor Organization reports that “although Occupational Health and Safety Center (OHSC) of themining accounts for only one per cent of the global Philippines launched these awards to give recognition toworkforce, it is responsible for up to five per cent of fatal individuals and companies for outstanding health andaccidents at work – 15,000 per year or 40 a day.” safety records.A study conducted by the Institute for Occupational Health Last year, the employees did not get any profit-sharingand Safety Development on underground mining in nor any other bonus in addition to the mandated 13 thItogon, Benguet in 1997 cites “being hit by falling month pay. Workers were told that LCMCo did not meetobjects” as the leading type of accident followed by its quota for the year. “Labor is blamed for it but how 73
  • environment watch: karayan abra could we meet the quota if the company keeps raising it? gold. They became more oppressive and abusive after At the beginning of Victoria, there was a lot of gold, but that.” the sample got smaller and smaller. The LHD (load, haul and dump) trucks are as big as Caterpillars (trucks used In December 2002 the 1,560-strong Lepanto Employees for construction) and tend to gather more waste Union filed a Notice of Strike after the management fired materials,” Felipe says. “In 1990, before Victoria, we had Union members charged with absence-without-leave the biggest profit-sharing. Less than P7,000. After that (AWOL) when they did not show up for work on holidays they decreased the amount every year. Now, we only get seven times. “The priority issue is the compulsory a ‘performance bonus’. It all depends on how your holiday work…Then we are also questioning their labor- supervisor evaluates your performance. So, if you don’t contracting-only (LCO) practice involving workers have a good working relationship with your supervisor, directly involved in production… we are fighting for don’t expect a bonus at all.” tenure. These LCOs don’t get benefits especially if there are accidents. They also threaten the employment of The mining methods employed by LCMCo is mechanized regular workers who get paid a little more,” explains overhand and underhand, cut-and-fill using the load, Union President Panelo Ambas, 43, who has been with haul and dump (LHD) method for muck removal, the use the company for 20 years. Ambas also talks about the of drilling, rockbolting, blasting and other mechanized issue of “high-grading” apprehensions, or those caught methods. allegedly stealing ore. The Union believes the miners are framed because the security guards are given Felipe claims he used to have more faith in the company. rewards or incentives when they manage to catch “It seems things turned for the worse when they found someone with a piece of nava, the reddish rock with white, powdery specks, which may (or may not) have gold embedded in it. High-graders are penalized with five-day suspension or, at the extreme, dismissal from work. “On one occasion, the security guard searched some workers and found them to be clean. They followed the same workers afterwards and accused them of high-grading.” When asked to comment on the land subsidence issue, Ambas says that when the company finds ore “they keep drilling and mining, without monitoring the pillar height. I don’t think they care much for the people whose lands and houses may be affected because they can always just pay them for the damage… It will probably take 10 years to stabilize the land in Sapid with backfilling.” Ambas lives in Sapid74
  • environment watch: karayan abrawith his wife and six children. His family is also intovegetable gardening.Scale MiningAndoy Tawaken, 49, is a small-scale miner in Mankayanoriginally from the Mountain Province. He and his wifeErnesta, 47, a Kalinga, have 13 children with agesranging from 30 to two. Two of the older ones are going tocollege in Baguio. One, Daniel, a criminology student,has beautiful paintings on wood of the Cordilleralandscape hanging on the wall of their three-room cottagebeside a poster of Silvester Stallone’s Rambo III. An earlier,more child-like painting is permanently dyed on the insideof the door to their sala. Mang Andoy smiles briefly whenasked about the paintings. “It is my son’s hobby,” he says,almost dismissively, as he waves the million fliesdescending upon the merienda of sweet bread and coffeehe offers us. It is amazing how art finds space in thiscramped hut, where there seems to be a child in everynook and cranny. The couple has sixteen grandchildrenas well, most of them living here.Mang Andoy takes us to the nearby tunnel where heworks. It is 100 meters in length, and about six feet inheight. There are droplets of water clinging on the wallslike crystals, and a few wingless cockroaches sitting thereimmobile. We watch our step as we tread on planks ofwood on the floor covering a hole where the miners creepinto to get to more ore.“We make our own schedule here unlike in big mining which the miners collect in burlap sacks for drying andcompanies,” Mang Andoy says as he lights our way with further sorting by the women.a waning flashlight. “And anybody can work here, young,old, crippled.” Women, however, are traditionally kept “We only use charcoal and sodium to get to the gold. Weout of the mining tunnels perhaps for practical reasons, cook it in a clay saucer using a blower.” Mang Andoyas they are tasked with taking care of the home. He lets shows us the tedious process with his aged tools. “Someus women in the tunnel, defying tradition. “The operator big scale mining companies use cyanide and mercury sois not here anyway.” that they can get even those they call ‘water gold’. We don’t do that here.”Mang Andoy says they don’t use dynamite to blast theirway underground, “just shovels.” A watermill built with It is the operators who own the mill and other equipmentrecycled rubbertire vanes gathers water from the river the scale miners use. They get the most share when thefor the use of the rock grinder by his house. It takes three miners sell the gold that they manage to get. On a reallydays to grind the rocks and half-a-day to segregate the good day, they can get at least four grams which theysediment that may contain the gold. A small containment sell to middlemen at P410 per gram. “Most days we onlydam captures the caramel-hued waste from the grinder, get .6 or .8. It really depends on the nava.” 75
  • environment watch: karayan abra There is no health or accident insurance to speak of and, Bulalacao Movement have also applied to keep their after the profit is distributed among the workers, there is water, but he fears that the government will favor the only enough to maybe buy a sack of rice, but Mang Andoy big corporation. prefers to do this than tend a vegetable garden. “Especially now that prices of vegetables are so low, the “Laban na kung laban!” Dionisio Tipaac, barangay farmers would rather leave them to rot than spend for captain of Suyok says, his eyes red from drinking gin. It transportation.” The price of a kilo of cabbage, farmers is twilight and the store is getting filled up with students say, is P1. They attribute the drop in prices to the influx and workers. “We will fight to the end.” He mumbles of vegetables in Baguio imported from neighboring more angry-sounding words in Kankanaey before going countries like Taiwan. But that, in itself, is another story. back to his friends. Perpetual Water Rights Fighting for Survival They call him Kapitan. Denver Tongacan, 50, is a In the past, the people of Mankayan have come together member of the Sangguniang Bayan and the barangay to write petitions and do mass actions when mining chairman of Bulalacao, a farming town. He is also one of activities directly affect their sources of livelihood. In three accused in a case filed by LCMCo at the provincial the early ‘90s, the company was forced to close down two court for “illegal obstruction to permittees or contractors copper ore dryers after residents complained that the defined and penalized under Sec 107 of RA7942, smoke they emit were destroying their crops and animals. otherwise known as the Philippine Mining Act of 1995.” “It took awhile,” says Perfecto Lasa. “The DENR came and went to verify, the company brought agriculturists The grizzled community leader only smiles when he to check the dying vegetables and bananas and the remembers that day in October, 1999. “The company wasting animals. They said it was because of lack of found Victoria Ore deposits in Tabac, our neighboring fertilizers and other reasons, but not the black smoke. sitio, so they started operations,” he relates at the The people appealed some more and the company junction store his family owns, where older men are managed to lessen the smoke. But at night, when the drinking gin and teenagers are playing pool. “The people town slept, they would resume. The crops continued to there protested and burned one of their equipment. The die. Some outsiders – no one knows who – probably heard company got help from the military and a platoon was of the people’s plight and bombed the dryers one night.” sent to contain the situation.” There is a CAFGU detachment on a hill in Cabitin and Tongacan says that when he and other community the people are getting anxious about the increasing members saw the LCMCo workers laying down pipes on number of men in uniform they see in Poblacion. “There the road to their sitio, they mobilized residents to is no terrorism here,” Lasa says. “But officials of Lepanto barricade the intended drill site. “First, there were just are told not to come here for security reasons. This is a 20 of us. Before night falls there were more than 500. We peaceful place.” took turns manning the barricades for a week.” Prof. Stavenhagen, the UN Representative mentioned in The case is still pending at the civil and criminal courts his debriefing report that he found it “inappropriate that and, until it is resolved, the drillings will not resume. a regional police commander in the Cordillera can decide, For now, Tongacan and other leaders are concerned about at the behest of a mining company executive… to monitor the granting of perpetual water rights to LCMCo to six of a public meeting within the framework of the Special the nine rivers in North Benguet. This will enable the Rapporteur’s official mission.” He also wrote about the company to generate 500 metric tons of water it needs “highly irregular presence of members of the military for gold processing. in civilian clothing, videotaping the proceedings” of one of the regional dialogues he attended. “If they take all our water, how are we going to sustain our farmlands?” he says. He and leaders of the Barangay76
  • environment watch: karayan abraLast year, about a hundred peasants, small-scale miners, Last year, the company started expanding its operationsgardeners and workers from Mankayan; Tadian and in an effort to extend the life of the Victoria Gold mine.Mainit villages in Bontoc, Mountain Province; and The projected mine life for the whole Victoria project,Cervantes, Ilocos Sur convened in a Peasant Summit and without considering future mineral exploration, is aroundformed Mankayan Against Lepanto Expansion (MALEX). 11.5 years. This estimate is based on annual 500 metricAt the National Minority Week last August 12 to 16, tons per day increase (MTPD) from 2500 to 5000 MTPD.MALEX joined militant groups in a protest caravan Mankayan folks expect increased mining activities toagainst development aggression and militarization. Their affect their livelihood.first stop was the LCMCo’s national office in Makati wherethey were met with force by policemen who prevented In its annual operations report, LCMCo claims to havethem from depositing bags of silt in front of the office as a spent a generous P7.0 million in 2001 for communitysymbolic act of protest. The police wasn’t able to stop them, projects such as social infrastructures, education, sports,though, from throwing tailings and silt at the front steps and cultural programs, medical missions, calamityof the building. assistance and livelihood programs. “In the last five years, total expenditures for community development totaledLepanto’s Contributions P29.3 million,” the report states. This is the company’sThe discovery of gold and copper in the 14th and 16 th response to the DENR Mines and Geosciences Bureau callcentury in the Cordilleras drove many to migrate here. It for “contractor/permit holder/lessee conducting miningencouraged some of the original settlers to switch from and milling operation” to establish a Social Developmentswidden farming to copper mining, using the copper to and Management Program (SDMP). In fact the Philippinemanufacture pots, pipes and tools, and to Mining Act of 1995 specifically provides that thetrade with the North. Efforts by Spanish colonizers to send “contractor shall assist in the development of its miningmining expeditions failed because of the natives’ community, the promotion of the general welfare of itsuncompromising stance against foreigners. inhabitants and the development of science and technology.”However, the American colonial governmentsystematically dispossessed indigenous claims to ancestral In his report, Stavenhagen talked about how closelylands when it passed the Public Land Act in 1902 allowing related the land rights problem is to the issuesUS government to expropriate all public lands. In 1905, surrounding economic development strategies as theythe Land Registration Act affect the areas in which indigenous peoples live. “Manyinstitutionalized Torrens Titling system as the sole basis communities resist being forced or pressured intoof land ownership in the country. The Mining Law of 1905 development projects which destroy their traditionalprovided that all public lands shall be free and open for economy, community structures, and cultural values –exploitation, occupation and purchase by both citizens of a process that has been aptly described as ‘developmentthe Philippines and the US. This law allowed the American aggression,’” he writes. “The indigenous peoples are stillmining interests to thrive. waiting for human rights-centered development to reach them.”In the1930s, a mining boom in Mankayan brought agroup of prospectors led by American geologist VictorLednicky to form the Lepanto Consolidated MiningCompany. The company built the country’s first copperplant at 400 tons per day and increasing it to 1,000 perday until the outbreak of World War II. For three yearsduring World War II, Mitsui Company operated the mine,and Lepanto Mining resumed its operations in 1947. Article written by exposuree Lani Montreal. Published in Hapit, 1st Quarter, 2002 77
  • environment watch: karayan abra environmental investigatory mission documents continuing environmental damage caused Preliminary Report of the October 25-26, 2004 EIM (Includes Initial Water Quality Monitoring Results) Another Environmental Investigatory Mission (EIM) Casibir, Sallacong and San Mariano, Ilocos Sur and along the Abra River was organized by the Save the Abra Pakiling, Abra. Most of these supportive LGUs had River Movement (STARM) last October 25-26, 2004. recently made resolutions demanding a stop to further Over 116 individuals were mobilized. The EIM was Lepanto expansion. divided into the Upper Abra River team which covered Mankayan, Benguet down to Cervantes and Quirino, Water sampling for physicochemical testing was Ilocos Sur and the Lower Abra River team which surveyed conducted at 17 points along the Abra River from the Abra and lower Ilocos Sur segments of the river. Mankayan, Benguet all the way down to Abra and the Members of the EIM team included the Saint Louis mouth of the Abra River in Caoayan and Santa, Ilocos University, University of the Philippines Baguio, Sur. Soil samples were also collected from at least 6 sites. Benguet State University, Easter School, Itogon National Water sampling started at the Carbon-in-Pulp (CIP) Mill High School, the University of Northern Philippines and Outlet of Lepanto Consolidated Mining Corporation in Abra State Institute for Science and Technology. Other contrast to the DENR-Lepanto Multi-Partite Monitoring participants came from the Accion Contra el Hambre, Team which starts its water sampling only at Tailings United Church of Christ in the Philippines and in Canada, Dam 5A. Pollution must be measured from the CIP Mill the Health Action Information Network and the Outlet since discharge from this area already comes in Cordillera People’s Alliance. Legal assistance was provided contact with the environment and the nearby by the Cordillera Human Rights Organization and communities of Paalaban and Cabitin. Tanggol Kalikasan. Members of the media, from VIACOMM, radio DZEQ and Northern Dispatch documented the EIM. Samples taken from the CIP Mill outlet registered a basic pH (9.31) and emitted a strong acetone-like smell. The y b pH of water allegedly coming from underground tunnels The EIM was conducted in partnership with and also released at the back of the CIP Mill was acidic MAQUITACDG (Mankayan, Quirino, Tadian, Cervantes (4.07). A sample taken at the mid-portion of Tailings Danggayan a-Gunglo, the alliance of people’s Dam 5A was also acidic (6.25). organization living along the Upper Abra River). At various points along the Abra River, the EIM team was Dissolved oxygen readings at the CIP Mill Outlet and at hosted by Abra Governor Vicente “Vicsyd” Valera, Jr. Tailings Dam 5A registered below 2 mg/L. This puts into and his wife Bangued Mayor Zita “Ching” Valera, Ilocos question Lepanto’s recent claim that fish can be found Sur Provincial Governor Luis “Chavit” Singson, the Ilocos swimming in Tailings Dam 5A as aquatic life cannot Sur Provincial Board, the municipal governments of survive in conditions where dissolved oxygen is below 2 Cervantes, Quirino and Vigan, Ilocos Sur, Mankayan, mg/L. Benguet and Manabo, Abra, the barangays of Puro,78
  • environment watch: karayan abraMine drainage flowing from the Lepanto carbon-in-pulp mill and underground tunnels into the tributaries of the Abra River. 79
  • environment watch: karayan abra A major source of concern is the high amount of Total Cyanide is an extremely toxic chemical used in large- Suspended Solids (TSS) and Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) scale gold mining operations to extract the minutest found at the CIP Mill Outlet, the drainage from the amount of gold. Long-term effects of cyanide poisoning underground tunnels, at Tailings Dam 5A and at Lepanto include damage to the heart and the brain. River downstream from TD5A. An increased amount of TSS and TDS indicates that many chemicals/ heavy Sampling Point Cyanide Level (mg/L) metals are dissolved in the water. The TDS is of special CIP Mill Outlet 0.187 concern since water with a high TDS may appear clear Tailings Dam 5A Mid-Portion 0.1685 even if many chemicals/ heavy metals are dissolved in Tailings Dam 5ANear Penstock 0.876 it. Thus the clarity of the water that flows from Lepanto’s Lepanto River Downstream Tailings Dam 5A is no guarantee that it is indeed safe. from TD5A 0.98 Kayan 0.885 Further, Lepanto’s claim that Tailings Dam 5A is actually helping to contain siltation is likewise deceiving. The high level of TDS and TSS from the CIP Mill Outlet up to Soil sampling in the vicinity of Tailings Dam 5A proved Tailings Dam 5A indicates that the silt originates from dangerous for the EIM team as digging of less than 1 company operations and is NOT natural siltation. The meter in depth resulted in water flowing into the site of high level of TDS downstream from the Tailings Dam 5A digging. The soil under the surface was an unstable slurry also indicates that not all of this silt is being contained. of sand, soil and water. This indicates that soil around the Tailings Dam is very porous.Sampling Point TSS, mg/L TDS, mg/L TS, mg/L Soil sampling done in Camay, Cervantes, Ilocos SurCIP Mill Outlet 100,051 2,677 102,278 revealed foul-smelling, dark soil at less than a meterUnderground Tunnels below the surface. Palay in this area were noted to beJoining CIP Mill Drainage 2,964 4,572 7,536 stunted and had a burnt appearance. Local farmersTailings Dam 5A Mid-Portion 43,156 276 43,432 attribute this to the overflowing of river water andTailings Dam 5ANear tailings into their ricefields during heavy rain fall inPenstock 22 2,068 2,090 recent years.Lepanto RiverDownstream from TD5A 47 2,064 2,111 As evidence of continued environmental degradation ofPuro, Ilocos Sur 188 9,740 9,928 the Abra River by Lepanto were collected by the EIMRancho Casiber, Ilocos Sur 98 9,010 9,108 team, testimonies of community residents at the newly Another cause of concern are the water quality readings re-opened mine exhaust tunnel at Sitio Pacda, Palasaan, obtained at the mouth of the Abra River at Rancho Mankayan, Benguet put into question Lepanto’s claims Casiber, Santa, Ilocos Sur. Dissolved oxygen again fell that the exhaust tunnel posed no danger. below 2 mg/L, and Total Dissolved Solids was again very high. The mouth of the Abra River is a very important Lepanto has obtained a temporary permit to operate the area as this is where fish from the sea enter freshwater to exhaust tunnel from the DENR-Environmental lay their eggs and grow their young. While the various Management Bureau. Residents of Sitio Pacda complained factors that may be causing the above conditions need to of nasal irritation from the smoke they observed coming be investigated further. It must be noted however that from the exhaust at various times of the day, usually the mouth of any river is also the ultimate site of late at night or in the early morning. Banana plants accumulation of pollutants along the entire length of the have been noted to be wilting abnormally. river, including mine drainage from Lepanto. In 1997, the air pollution from the Tohking exhaust Free cyanide levels at several points along the Upper tunnel caused nausea and vomiting, dizziness and Abra River are above the DENR standard of 0.1 mg/L. abdominal pain among the residents. Domestic animals 80
  • environment watch: karayan abraalso developed eye irritation/ reddening and nosebleed. Lepanto workers. Mayor Galuten denied seeing thisIt is feared that the same thing will happen again soon. petition. He also denied signing any Sangguniang Bayan resolution supporting this petition.Interview with Lakay Nick Sab-it, the owner of the landwhere the exhaust tunnel is located, reveals how Interviews made among Lepanto workers revealed thatdeception was employed by Lepanto in obtaining right to they were recently made to sign a blank sheet by theirthe land. Lakay Sab-it was payed a mere P30,000 for the supervisors, at the start of their work shift. They werelease of his 2,000 square meter lot for 25 years. The not given the opportunity to read the actual petitionelderly man was told that the tunnel was only going to they were signing.be used for air intake. However, he was made to sign acontract that permitted use of his land “for a sandfill At the conclusion of the Environmental Investigatoryline, ventilation raise and other related mining works, Mission, members of the Save the Abra River Movementincluding the conduct of exploratory drilling”. hung a streamer at the Banaoang bridge which read “Save the Abra River! Stop Lepanto expansion!” TheyMembers of the media interviewed Mayor Manalo vowed to regularize the conduct of such EIMs untilGaluten of Mankayan, Benguet to secure a copy of a pollution of the Abra River is halted and the River runspetition to open the exhaust tunnel allegedly signed by clear once again. 81
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  • environment watch: karayan abra lepanto and its teresa project dooms the people As the Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company operates In the context of high profitability its Victoria Gold Project (VGP), the biggest gold producer The total volume and value of gold production in the in the country announced a new expansion project to country continue to rise, by 6% for the first quarter 2003 start this year. This is the Teresa Gold Project of Lepanto and by 28% during the first quarter of the year. The in Mankayan, Benguet. Simultaneous with the Teresa profitable price of gold has pushed the gold production and Victoria projects is the revival of the Far Southeast value to increase from PhP4.98 billion to PhP6.37 billion Project and copper mining which has been Lepanto’s main early this year. Being the biggest gold producer, Lepanto production before the VGP. For all these plans, the mining was largely instrumental in the increase. Of course, the company has reopened its exhaust tunnel which was production of small scale gold miners reflected in the closed in 1997 due to community protest and the DENR purchases of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and Environmental Management Bureau’s closure order. other gold mines (Canatuan Gold Project of TVI Resources in Zamboanga del Norte, Acupan Contract Mining Project With these developments, Lepanto is in hot waters as of Benguet Corp. in Benguet, Diwalwal Direct State Dev’t community protests rage, backed by a growing broad Project of the Natural Resources Mining Dev’t Corp, and support. Local government officials and community Paracale Gold Project of Johnson Gold Mining Corp. in organizations expressed their opposition to the Teresa Camarines Norte) contributed to the total output. Gold Project. The Teresa Gold Project of Lepanto is expected to Time and again, legitimate issues and concerns have contribute much to the total Philippine gold production been raised by the people but to no avail. Experience if it becomes operational this year. shows that even government laws and legal procedures were easily ignored or circumvented by the mining For the first six months of 2004, Lepanto has the following company. production as posted in its website: 2004 Jan Feb Mar Apr May June YTD Tonnes Milled 71,280 67,320 70,840 65,680 67,180 64,820 4 0 7 , 1 2 0 Tonnes per day 2,376 2,321 2,285 2,346 2,239 2,235 2,300 Head grade g/t Au 4.26 3.98 4.13 4.60 4.66 4.21 4.30 g/t Ag 19.90 15.50 18.50 17.40 18.20 15.70 17.60 Gold recovery, % Gold 91.45 91.37 91.03 91.79 91.95 91.97 91.60 Silver 35.31 40.43 32.61 34.04 40.66 45.15 37.68 Production, oz Gold 8,918 8,103 8,338 8,911 9,246 8,068 51,584 Silver 16,065 13,626 13,714 12,479 16,028 14,796 86,70884
  • environment watch: karayan abraAs the biggest gold producer in the country today, In too short a time, Lepanto declared profitability in itsLepanto claims an annual gold production of 150,000 unaudited net income of P66 million and P112 millionounces. The mining giant is also a major contributor to for the third and fourth quarters of 2003, respectively.the continuing increase in silver production with 30% For the first half of 2003, Lepanto produced 33,780 ozand 91% growth rates for first quarter 2003 and 2004, which increased by 67% in the second half to 56,640 oz.respectively. Compared to the first quarter of 2003, the However, it later clarified the net income for the periodcompany has a substantial increase of 133% in the output is P57 million due to foreign exchange losses andof the VGP. repayment of dollar loans. Still, that is a gargantuan net profit squeezed out of the sweat and blood of theLepanto incurred losses during the first and second workers, environmental destruction and plunder of thequarters of 2003 as a result of the workers’ strike during people’s intergenerational livelihood, lands andthe whole month of February with the support of peasant resources. Note the destruction and plunder broughtcommunities in the municipalities of Mankayan about by extracting 2,300 tons of ore milled per day and(Benguet), Cervantes and Quirino of Ilocos Sur, Tadian the corresponding tons of chemical elements used in(Mountain Province), and the various sectors of Baguio processing resulting in tons of toxic wastes dumped intoCity and as far as the province of Kalinga. This was a the Abra River, adding more pressure and threat to thehistoric event that almost put Lepanto down to its knees potential collapse of Tailings Dam 5-A.and a lesson that the people will cherish in theircontinuing fight to end this giant menace. For the first three months of 2004, Lepanto earned a net profit of P81 million with a gold production of 25,359 85
  • environment watch: karayan abra ounces. This is a 96% increase compared to the first projects (VGP, Teresa and copper mining) and gains from quarter of 2003. Thus, just for the three quarters (second other metals would far surpass the minimum P460 and third quarters 2003 and first quarter 2004), million net profit for 2004. Lepanto accumulated a net profit of not less than P138 million. Now, the question is: who benefits from these millions? Certainly not the people affected, not the national Target gold production of Lepanto for the year 2004 is economy, not the majority Filipino people, and not even 113,800 ounces and given a gold price of $390 per ounce, all of its stockholders. It is Lepanto’s top corporate officers the mining company will have income of P460 million. and investors who reap these millions of superprofit. Of Having declared a 150,000 oz annual gold production, course, big government bureaucrats and corrupt officials this must be the least minimum target and therefore, in various government agencies like the DENR, NCIP the least minimum target profit. Besides, the price of and some local government units receive their share as gold in the world market is highly profitable given that facilitation or protection money especially since Lepanto the price per ounce reached $408.27 (gold price as of has been a consistent violator of laws and rights of September 24 is $407.60-408.10 which is expected to communities. increase more), its income from three simultaneous86
  • environment watch: karayan abraWith these superprofit and financial capacity, Lepanto difference. Average price of silver remained positive atcan easily expand the coverage of its destructive mining $6.64/troy ounce with an increase of 42% from itsoperations beyond Mankayan, Benguet and target $4.66/troy ounce average in the first quarter of 2003.simultaneous projects which will rake more profit forthe giant. The rise in prices of these metals may have been pushed by the increased demand of China for metalsOne among the six prospects nationwide for the revival compounded by the US war of aggression in Iraq and theof copper production to augment the production volatile political situation in the Middle East. Take notecapacity of Philex Mining Corporation, which is the only that prices also increased when US imperialist forcesremaining copper concentrate producer in the country invaded Afghanistan in 2002. Wars increase thesince August 2001, is the reopening of the Far Southeast demand of these metals for the manufacture of warProject of Lepanto in Mankayan, Benguet. armaments. To mining capitalists, war is good. It brings them profit.Lepanto continues operating its VGP through the 700Lproject (which is the deeper section of the Victoria ore In the Philippines, the present Arroyo administration asbody) as it commences its new expansion project, the the worst puppet and agent of imperialist globalizationTeresa Gold Project. Lepanto would not target these offered the country’s mineral resources up for grabs toplans and operations if not in a highly profitable big mining capitalists by issuing Executive Order No.situation. 270 in January 16, 2004 known as the National Policy Agenda on Revitalizing Mining in the Philippines.Given a highly profitable mining operation, Lepantoshould give just living wages, benefits and incentives to This policy has concretely set the direction andits workers and employees; seriously compensate for mechanism of propelling the all-out implementation ofdamages of properties, livelihood, deaths and other the Philippine Mining Act of 1995, R.A. 7942, even as itdisasters to communities adversely affected by Lepanto meant violating Philippine sovereignty, nationalfor a long historic time; repair and rehabilitate sinking patrimony and peoples’ rights in favor of capitalistareas and landslides; mitigate the health impacts of its mining under the supervision of the Department ofoperation; and serve in the development of the Environment and its Mines Geosciences Bureau. Furthercommunities and its people vis-à-vis the profit that it driving the voracious appetite of the Arroyogets. But, as history shows, this is impossible to expect administration is the plan for Charter Change whichfrom Lepanto. This is an illusion as Lepanto is motivated will likely remove protectionist provisions of theby super profit accumulation and capitalist greed. Philippine Constitution on national patrimony allowing 100% foreign ownership and control on the country’sWe have no choice but to end this menace. mineral investment and resources. Another move is the filing of a Motion for Reconsideration for a reversal of theOther significant developments favorable Supreme Court decision of January 24, 2004 nullifyingfor Lepanto’s Teresa Project the provisions on the Financial and Technical AssistanceMining giants continue to enjoy the increasing prices of Agreement (FTAA) of the Mining Act of 1995.major metals like gold, silver, copper and nickel in theinternational market. Early this year, the prices of With the Philippine financial crisis at its depth, thecopper, gold and silver increased by 64%, 16% and 42%, Arroyo regime is using the situation to further push itsrespectively. Gold prices remained upbeat at agenda on revitalizing the Philippine mining industryUS$408.27/troy ounce (1 troy ounce is equivalent to to attract more foreign investments as a way out from31.157 grams) average during the first quarter of this the brink of financial collapse.year compared with US$352.43/troy ounce averageduring the same period in 2003, marking a US$55.84 87
  • environment watch: karayan abra Teresa Gold Project does not contribute to the country’s financial supply, Lepanto’s media releases say “the Teresa ore body is much less to national industrialization and progress. adjacent to Victoria I and II sites” with an estimated gold reserve of 110,418 kilograms. The new mine site has a The Teresa project has an approved capacity of 970,570 lifespan of 15 years. tonnes with an equivalent of 162,860 ounces of gold per year. This annual gold production is bigger than the In a letter dated 9 October 2003, Lepanto informed the usual annual production of 150,000 oz. Based on the Disclosure Department of the Philippine Stock Exchange latest geological work undertaken for Teresa as of 1 of the approval of registration of the new project by the January 2004, there is an estimated Mineral Resource Board of Investments. They were given such incentives of 9.92 Mt at 2.90 g/t Au from which an Ore Reserve of as income tax holiday for four (4) years, extended for 1.75Mt at 5.63 g/t Au was derived. [Refer to the three years, starting in April 2004 or actual summary of the Mineral Resource and ore reserve commencement of commercial operation. What a provided in the table below.] This means Teresa has a pleasure offered on a silver platter for the giant company higher grade compared to the average head grade g/t at these times of great financial crisis. Those with Au production of Lepanto for the first half 2004. As the superprofits who should pay more taxes are the ones being target annual gold production is increased, this will mean excluded from paying taxes for seven years. This is on a higher grade with a more intensified mechanized top of the practice of big capitalists in legally paying less mining. Its concomitant result is more massive plunder taxes vis-à-vis their huge and taxable income. This is to extract the mass of gold and precious metals in a short one reason why the present mining system in the country span of time. Mineral Resource (as of January 1, 2004) Mineral Resource Category Tonnes (M) g/t Au oz Au (M) Teresa Measured 1.89 4.09 0.25 Indicated 1.65 3.14 0.17 Inferred 6.37 2.48 0.51 Total 9.92 2.90 0.93 Ore Reserve (as of January 1, 2004) Ore Reserve Category Tonnes (M) g/t Au oz Au (M) Teresa Proved 1.06 5.27 0.18 Probable 0.69 6.19 0.14 Total 1.75 5.63 0.3288
  • environment watch: karayan abraAreas covered by the Teresa ore are barangays Suyoc, and with no FPIC, Lepanto started and continued its VGPGuinaoang, Bulalacao in Mankayan and Binucong-Loo, operation. At any rate, no legal and environmentalBuguias, Benguet. On top of this, the mining company requirements were accomplished for the Teresa Projectholds on to its expansion plan towards Tadian and Mainit even as it uses the VGP as alibi. The governmentin Mountain Province by aiming for another 6,221 agencies, DENR and NCIP did nothing to act on thesekilograms (1 kg is equivalent to 35.33 oz) of gold every blatant violations.year in that expansion target. This is just another ploy of Lepanto to do away with theContrary to what Lepanto claims, the Teresa Gold Project legal requirements , disregard the people’s protest andis a new and different mine project from Victoria II. circumvent the law in its favor and convenience inVictoria II was discovered in 1999 and, subsequently, collaboration with the MGB-DENR and some localcommenced operation. Thus, Teresa and Victoria II are officials.not one and the same. Teresa is the project that Lepantodeclared to be operational this year. To set into motion Still, Lepanto has to undergo these legal andthe Teresa Gold Project and continue its expansion, environmental requirements of securing an ECC afterLepanto has reopened its exhaust tunnel in Toking, Pacda, conducting an Environmental Impact Assessment. ItMankayan without the peoples’ permission and without has to get the favorable endorsement of local governmentlocal government endorsement. In fact, both the units. Paramount to all, Lepanto must have theSangguniang Bayan of Mankayan and Cervantes, Ilocos acceptance of affected communities and secure their FPIC.Sur endorsed and supported the community petitions If Lepanto will just repeat its unlawful and immoralagainst the Teresa Gold Project, revival of the copper mining project with the connivance of governmentmining and reopening of the exhaust tunnel. agencies like the DENR and unscrupulous officials, it should not be a question if the communities will take theWhy does Lepanto insist that Teresa project is Victoria law into their hands and exercise peoples’ power for whatII? Because Lepanto wants to avoid fulfilling the legal is just.requirements, such as favorable endorsement of localgovernment units, the free and prior informed consent The Teresa Gold Project is another profit-making venture(FPIC) of affected communities and other processes as it of Lepanto that dooms the people. With this capitalistdid with the VGP. As regards its VGP, the mining mode of mining production backed by reactionary lawscompany remained mute when asked to provide the like the Philippine Mining Act of 1995, only the localEnvironmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) for the ruling elite who own Lepanto with their foreign partners,project especially when the national office of the MGB will benefit at the expense of the indigenous peoples andcertified that there was no ECC ever issued for the peasants from the plunder of their ancestral lands andLepanto VGP. The company also failed to get the free and resources . Through the Teresa project and expansionprior, informed consent of the communities. Moreover, beyond Mankayan, Lepanto undermines the people andthe Sangguniang Bayan of Mankayan has withdrawn thinks it could easily spread its plunder beyond the Abraits favorable endorsement for the project given in 2001. River valley. Lepanto intensifies its record of developmentTherefore, the Memorandum of Agreement signed aggression, exploitation and oppression against the peoplefraudulently in 1996 between Lepanto and the Municipal of the Cordillera.Government holds no legal basis. The SangguniangBayan withdrew its endorsement when it was Massive and simultaneous mining by reviving copperconsistently questioned by the communities why there mining, continuing the VGP through the 700L projectwere no consultations made and the communities and the Teresa Gold Project will aggravate the dangersustained their opposition to the project. Having nothing posed by Tailings Dam 5-A. More tonnage of toxic wastesto show, Lepanto and the MGB ridiculously showed the and silt will add more pressure and accelerate the risingECC of its past Farsoutheast copper project. Illegal as it is level of the dam thereby hastening the danger of its 89
  • environment watch: karayan abra potential collapse, which could mean tragic death and In addition to the underground mined-out areas causing nightmare to the downstream communities along the land mass movement, the total of 114 holes (50 surface Abra River. and 64 underground) as a result of Lepanto’s drilling operations since 1969 until 2003 make the situation in This danger is compounded by the fact that the Tailings Mankayan more alarming. Dam 5-A is located within the Splay of the Philippine Fault which overlaps the Abra River. As to the geological This is an all-out perpetration of capitalist plunder and location of the new project, “the Teresa deposit trends ethnocide that dooms the indigenous peoples and north-south along a series of parallel structures that seem peasants. Before this happens, we have to end this to have continued, after it was displaced by a fault, to Lepanto menace. It should not be a question reserved for the northeast trending Victoria veins. In a regional scale, tomorrow. It is an answer of intensifying mass protests the Teresa is localized within the northwest to north- and struggles to put Lepanto down to its grave and make south trending Abra River fault that extends to Palidan it pay for the injustice committed against the people. and Suyoc areas south of Nayak” in Mankayan, Benguet. First published in Hapit, the official publication of the Cordillera People’s Alliance90
  • environment watch: karayan abrathe mineral action planSacrificing environmental regulations and social acceptability provisionsfor the unhampered entry of foreign mining companiesBackground and ContextThe Mineral Action Plan (MAP) is the detailed implemen- sive foreign investment to the mining industry is consid-tation plan of EO 270 and 270-A known as the National ered by the government as one of the key solutions to theMinerals Policy (NMP), which was approved in January worsening financial crisis. Based on the MAP, the govern-2004 and amended in April 2004. The MAP is the na- ment is even willing to bend its own rules, regulationstional policy agenda for the revitalization of the Philip- and laws on the protection of the environment, the recog-pine mining industry. It sets the framework and prin- nition of the rights of affected communities and the au-ciples by which the Philippine mining industry aims to tonomy of local government units just to be able to satisfyachieve what it refers to as “sustainable and responsible the demands of foreign mining companies and ensuremining”. their profitability. On the other hand, the serious envi- ronmental and social cost and consequences of large scaleThe Mineral Action Plan (MAP) mining are merely treated with more rhetoric rather than decisive actions. National patrimony, ecological pro-The MAP, as the concrete and detailed action plan of the tection and social concerns are clearly sacrificed in theNMP, sets concrete strategies with clear targets and spe- drive to revitalize the mining industry, with all incen-cific activities to address various issues and concerns in tives given to foreign investors under the NMP and MAP.revitalizing the Philippine mining industry. This policyagenda covers facilitation of investments; optimizing ben-efits from minerals; promotion of small scale mining; use Addressing the legal constraintsof efficient technology, protection of the environment; Time and again, the mining industry has been very vo-multiple land use and sustainable utilization of mineral- cal in their disappointment over the tedious and long pro-ized areas; remediation or rehabilitation of abandoned cess of acquiring exploration and related permits andmine-sites; economic and social benefits, education and agreements, which are requirements for mining explo-information drives; and consultation process on resource ration and eventual operation. These legal requirementsmanagement, policy and planning. are on environmental protection, social acceptability, protection of biodiversity, and the regulation on foreignThe MAP aims to bring about the integration and cohe- investment. However, instead of strengthening these posi-sion of different government agencies by resolving the tive provisions of the law to protect the public interestissues that are seen as constraints or problem areas to and welfare, the solution provided by MAP is to simplifygreater foreign investments in the mining industry. the procedures and harmonize provisions of laws affect-These constraints are mainly on environmental regula- ing mining, in order to facilitate greater investment intions, social acceptability and various regulations of the the mining industry by local and foreign companies.concerned government agencies. Obviously, the MAP isintended to provide for the unhampered entry and opera- In particular, the Department of Justice will be asked totion of foreign mining companies which the government intervene in favor of the mining industry over the con-considers as the most decisive and key element in revital- flicting provisions of the Mining Act, the Local Govern-izing the Philippine mining industry. The expected mas- ment Code, IPRA, NIPAS, Omnibus Investment Code, 91
  • environment watch: karayan abra among others. In addition, the MAP provides for shortcuts to legal pro- tective measures in order to satisfy the demands and in- terest of the mining industry. In particular, 15 regional one stop-shops for processing of mining applications have already been set up, instead of the regular procedure whereby the various government agencies have to do careful studies of each mining application. This short cut process becomes a mechanical procedure, vulnerable to a lot of oversight on various regulations, potential viola- tions of certain laws and guidelines, as well as potential adverse impacts of the mining operation. In particular, one shortcut process is the reduction of the period allowed for the processing of the requirement for the Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) of affected indigenous communities. As per agreement made between the National Commission of Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and the Department of Environment and Natural Re- sources (DENR), the 185 days required for the FPIC pro- cess has been reduced to 107 days or by 43%. This legal provision under the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) is a mechanism to ensure that indigenous peoples rights are not violated, especially on their con- trol, management and utilization of their resources as part of their inherent and collective rights. But under the MAP, this is now being reduced to a mere technical and procedural requirement, making a mockery of the very principle of the right to self- determination of indig- enous peoples. In order to uphold the very principles of FPIC, there should be clearer guidelines to ensure that adequate information is provided, including terms of con- tract and agreements, potential adverse impacts, inde- pendent environmental and social studies, and access to related information. Sufficient time should also be allowed for information dis- semination, transparent consultations, independent col- lective discussions and independent decision making , meaning there should be no manipulation, coercion, brib- ery and similar cases just to obtain a favorable endorse- ment for the mining projects. The FPIC mechanism is a matter of social justice for indigenous peoples who have often been made sacrificial lambs in the name of develop- ment. The provision for FPIC, however, is seen by mining92
  • environment watch: karayan abracompanies as an obstacle to their interest in exploiting vide strong penalties and sanctions for serious environ-the people’s resources for profit. Through the MAP, the mental and ecological disasters caused by mining opera-government is simply following the dictates of mining tions. In fact, more than 10 mine tailings dams havecompanies by further watering down the already prob- collapsed in the Philippines, yet not a single mining com-lematic NCIP guidelines for the implementation of the pany in the Philippines has been given stiff penalties orFPIC . sanction for this kind of disaster, which has serious conse- quences not only on the environment but on the people’sAnother appalling legal shortcut is on the requirement livelihoods. It should be noted that large scale miningfor positive endorsement by affected local government operations, even with the use of highly sophisticated techunits as required under the Local Government Code forany project affecting their constituents. Instead of re-quiring official resolutions of the local legislative unitssuch as the Sanggunian Bayan and Provincial Board, theMAP states that a certification of consultation with a des-ignated local government official will suffice as a require-ment for the issuance of exploration permits. This is againanother affront to the exercise of local autonomy by localgovernment units, and a usurpation of the responsibili-ties of local government units to conduct public consulta-tions as a basis for any decision on projects affecting theirconstituents.Adding insult to injury, the DENR under MAP will seekthe intervention of the Department of Justice (DOJ) re-garding resolutions made by local government units de-claring moratorium on mining. These resolutions serveas examples of good public accountability of the concernedlocal government units for upholding the position of theirconstituencies.Addressing public concern on the adverseenvironmental and ecological impacts ofminingWhile the MAP contains several measures and guidelineson environmental protection, it fails to provide decisiveaction on how to resolve existing serious environmentalproblems in relation to mining. For one, instead of re-quiring a mandatory third party audit of mining compa-nies with regards to their mining operation, MAP merelyencourages this kind of environmental accountabilitymeasure. From experience, given the environmental di-sasters caused by mining operations, mining companiesare not very receptive to a third party audit because itopens up their operation to independent scrutiny. Like-wise, MAP merely provides incentives for good environ-mental conduct of mining companies, but does not pro- 93
  • environment watch: karayan abra nology, still cannot reverse the inherent environmental ing. In fact, it even includes the identification of small- damages caused by mining operations such as toxic mine scale mining areas. However, the small-scale mining sec- waste disposal, pollution from milling operations and geo- tor is already governed by the Small Scale Mining Act, logical disasters. which a lot of gold panners have rejected. What can be gleaned from this strategy is the overriding interest of Another area of mere lip service is on the protection of the government to generate revenue from small scale biodiversity-rich areas with mineral deposits. While MAP miners as they continue to grow in numbers, and to regu- states its objective of protecting bio-diversity areas, this, late their activities, so that rich mineral deposits will be however, is subject to valuation study and comprehen- mainly for large-scale corporate mining. sive land use plan. Given the practice of the government of giving premium to the commercial value of land and Conclusion resource utilization, extraction of minerals is expected to The MAP is brazenly designed to further weaken any re- be given higher priority over the protection of the eco- maining protective measures that regulate the mining logical system. Thus, the most likely outcome and direc- industry leading to the complete sell- out of the people’s tion of the action plan of MAP is to enhance the NIPAS and mineral resources to large-scale corporate mining. It mining laws towards strengthening land use for mining, clearly follows the dictates and whims of mining compa- rather than for biodiversity protection. nies and foreign investors to the detriment of the people’s livelihood sources, national patrimony and environment. Instead of clear and decisive policy guidelines and con- The NMP and MAP pretend to be for environmental pro- crete actions to address public concerns on the environ- tection, yet do not provide for a strict regulatory regime mental consequences of mining, MAP instead provides a for mining corporations, in spite of their appalling record detailed action plan for education and information to of ecological disasters. Because of the government’s fa- promote mining as sustainable and beneficial for the de- voring of mining companies over the rights and welfare velopment of the country. It drumbeats the so-called eco- of the people, this is another form of national oppression of nomic benefits of mining and the benefits for host com- indigenous peoples and an imperialist imposition to fur- munities in order to entice the public’s support. But this ther exploit and control the nation’s mineral wealth. It strategy is doomed to fail as the existing environmental can be expected that more conflicts will take place in min- mess caused by past mining operations remains unat- ing-affected communities with the onslaught of foreign tended to and serves as a glaring example of the insincer- mining companies fully supported by the State and its ity of the government and mining companies to resolve machineries. The people must then brace themselves and these inherent problems of mining. Actions speak louder strengthen their ranks to defend their rights and secure than words on this matter. the people’s resources. It is with the people’s vigilance, collective and sustained actions using various legitimate The rhetoric of support for small-scale forms of struggle and defense, and with the support of the mining broad public, that we can prevent this aggressive plan to Surprisingly, the MAP has one section devoted to the further marginalize the already impoverished people of government’s support and promotion of small scale min- the countryside. First published in Hapit, the official publication of the Cordillera Peoples’ Alliance.94
  • environment watch: karayan abrathe struggle continues...Editor’s note: As this book was being prepared for publica-tion, the Supreme Court announced the reversal of its ear-lier decision declaring portions of the Philippine Mining Actas unconstitutional. These provisions pertaining to the Fi-nancial Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) allow fully(100%) foreign-owned corporations to profit from Philip-pine mineral resources. On 1 December 2004, the Supreme Court reversed its earlier ruling by saying: 95
  • environment watch: karayan abra “THE CONSTITUTION should be read in broad, life-giv- justice will bring about further injustices. ing strokes. It should not be used to strangulate economic growth or to serve narrow, parochial interests. Rather it This clearly is what the Supreme Court has done when it should be construed to grant the President and Congress shed its independent image and kowtowed to Malacanang sufficient discretion and reasonable leeway to enable them and the mining local and transnational corporations or to attract foreign investments and expertise, as well as to TNCs, in its recent most shameful decision. secure for our people and our posterity the blessings of prosperity and peace.” We strongly condemn the Supreme Court’s reversal of its ruling which declared as unconstitutional the provisions Clearly, the Supreme Court had bowed down to the pres- of the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 that allow 100% sures from various fronts pushing for the revitalization of foreign-owned corporations to explore, develop, exploit and the mining industry as the Philippine’s way out of the use the country’s mineral resources. financial crisis. Even as the country’s highest court of justice now rules Along with other groups, the Save the Abra River Move- that the law, R.A. 7942, is constitutional, this does not ment issued the following declaration: make it just. Decades of foreign plunder of the country’s resources have brought our country nowhere but mas- Justice cannot be served through deceptions. Even more sive displacement of communities and devastation of our is justice inconceivable when what is branded as an act of environment. “Justice for All . for the Present and the Future,” declares the Supreme Court decision. Yet its message rings hollow. It is as hollow as the weak and deceptive logic that runs throughout the decision. No, the people, much less the entire Filipino nation, present and future will not benefit from the historical and present injustice foisted by the latest Supreme Court ruling. The ruling can never be for the “greater good of the greatest number,” as the Supreme Court said. For more verily, the stark truth remains: Philippine min- ing operates under the sponsorship of mining TNCs for and only for their interest of amassing profits. And open- ing the whole country for the complete and unhindered exploitation and greed of mining TNCs, fully foreign- owned corporations, can only bring about greater dam- nation for the greatest number of our people. Not to men- tion that the Supreme Court decision brashly sidesteps the issue of sovereignty which it ironically sought to up- hold in its earlier decision. Signed by: KALIKASAN-People’s Network for the Environment (KPNE) Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR) History has already given us an overwhelming proof of Center for Environmental Concerns-Philippines (CEC) how Philippine mining, as presently constituted, oper- Kalipunan ng Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (KAMP) ates with impunity against our political and economic Save the Abra River Movement (STARM) sovereignty, our environmental security, and even Cordillera Human Rights Alliance (CHRA) against the human rights of the greater and increasing number of our people, especially our national minorities.96
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  • environment watch: karayan abra health profile of communities living near corporate gold mining operations in mankayan, benguet Preliminary Findings of an Environmental and Occupational Hazard Assessment Introduction to describe the health profile of communities living adja- Gold mining has been in existence since ancient times. cent to large-scale gold mining operations. With the rapid advances in technology, sophisticated ma- chineries and processes are now used to extract the most Specific Objectives: amount of gold from the ore. This large-scale extraction 1. To determine the prevalence of symptoms attributed to of mineral resources is not without its deleterious effects acid mine drainage among residents of exposed commu- on the health of the mineworkers and communities liv- nities. ing around the mine sites. 2. To correlate these symptoms with existing heavy metal This study focuses on the operations of the Lepanto Con- content in the mine drainage flow to downstream rivers. solidated Mining Company (LCMCo or Lepanto) in the municipality of Mankayan, Benguet Province. It is 50 3. To determine blood levels of selected heavy metals and minutes flight by light airplane north of Manila, and 5 cyanide among residents of exposed communities. hours (95 kms) from Baguio City by bus. Mankayan has a total population of 34,502 individuals 1 . As of August 4. To determine the prevalence of work-related symptoms 2002, LCMCo employed 1,949 employees. among corporate mineworkers. 5. To relate these symptoms with existing occupational Lepanto has been mining in the Mankayan area since hazards in the mine site. 1936. They have used the tributaries of the Abra River as part of their mine waste disposal system. The commu- Methodology nities living along the Abra River have complained of A. Environmental Hazard Assessment decreased agricultural and fishing yield, loss of plant life, Three (3) communities (sitios) were chosen for this part of death of domestic animals and various health complaints the study: (1) Sitio Paalaban, Barangay Paco, Mankayan, they attribute to the operations of LCMCo. It is these com- Benguet (Paalaban) – It is the community nearest the plaints aired by the community residents and corporate mining operations. The community is located mineworkers which this study hopes to document and along the side of a mountain, ranging in elevation from validate. 687 masl to 1,030 masl (meters above sea level); (2) Sitio Batbato, Barangay Cabitin, Mankayan, Benguet This research also studies the occupational hazards faced (Cabitin) – It is the community located just above the by mineworkers employed by Lepanto as they are con- Lepanto Mine Tailings Dam 5A, at elevation 780 masl up sidered a distinct population within the area. to 1,030 masl; and (3) Sitio Camay, Barangay Comillas North, Cervantes, Ilocos Sur (Camay) – It is situated ap- Objectives proximately 4 km downstream from Mine Tailings Dam General Objective: 5A. The community is situated right along the banks of In the period of two (2) years, this research project aims the Baguyos River, into which Tailings Dam 5A drains.98
  • environment watch: karayan abraA total of 788 residents from Paalaban, Cabitin and Camay analysed. This way, biological monitoring could be morewere included in this study. The 15-44 year age group focused in terms of subjects and chemicals to be tested.predominates in all 3 communities. In terms of gender,male and females are almost equally distributed in each B. Occupational Hazard Assessmentof the 3 communities. Questionnaire-guided interviews with physical examina- tion were conducted among corporate mineworkers whoQuestionnaire-guided interviews were conducted among were contacted through the Lepanto Employees Union.the residents of Paalaban, Cabitin and Camay in May and (The questionnaire used was modified from the US MinesOctober 2003. (This questionnaire was based partially Safety and Health Administration.3)on Dr. Elizabeth Guilette’s “Performing a Community As-sessment”. 2) We were able to interview 88 workers (representing 5 percent of the total workforce), 6 of whom are retiredAlso in May 2003, 3 serial water samples (Day 1-6:00 employees of Lepanto. The mean age of the workers ispm, Day 2-6:00 am and 6:00 pm) were taken simulta- 42.5 years (standard deviation 9.25), with the youngestneously at 4 sites (Spring located upstream from Lepanto, being 19 and the oldest being 57. Seventy (70) of theLepanto Carbon-in-Pulp Mill Outlet, Mine Tailings Dam workers interviewed are directly involved in underground5A, and downstream after merging of Baguyos and mining (includes Mine Development, Mine Services, MineApaoan Rivers). A spot water sample was also taken from Production, Mine Mechanical, Geological Mine Engineer-the Lepanto Carbon-in-Pulp Mill Outlet on 12 June 2003 ing).(1:00 am) to validate the claims of residents andmineworkers that levels of toxic chemicals in mine drain- Resultsage rises when the mill site is flushed out prior to shut A. Environmental Hazard Assessmentdown during holidays. The residents of the 3 communities reported the followingBecause of budget limitations, it was deemed more cost- routes of exposure to mine drainage:effective if measurements of blood levels of toxic chemi-cals among the residents beundertaken after prelimi-nary analysis of environ-mental measurements andthe symptoms survey were 99
  • environment watch: karayan abra Inhalation occurs anytime the residents are in the vicinity of the mine drainage. Immersion occurs when they cross the river, bathe in the river, swim in the river or when they are engaged in small-scale mining. Ingestion usually occurs among children who accidentally drink river water while swimming or playing near the river. Cough (48.5%), nasal irritation (31.6%), skin symptoms such as rash, pruritus and burning sensation (31.6%), eye irritation(16.5%) and vomiting (10.5%) were the most prevalent symptoms reported in relation to exposure to mine drainage. For Paalaban, prevalence of symptoms for Upper and Lower Paalaban were compared to see if there was any correlation with geographical proximity to the site of mine drainage. Upper Paalaban occu- pies approximately the highest third of the com- munity (around 915 to 1,030 masl). Lower Paalaban represents the houses located on the lower 2/3 of the mountain and are nearer to the mine drainage flow. More symptoms were reported among those in Lower than in Upper Paalaban.100
  • environment watch: karayan abraUpon statistical analysis using phi coefficient for 2x2 United States Environmental Protection Agency publishestables, it was found that the differences in prevalence of the “National Recommended Water Quality Criteria”skin symptoms, eye irritation, nasal irritation and vom- which are “criteria for water quality accurately reflect-iting between Upper and Lower Paalaban were significant ing the latest scientific knowledge. . .based solely on dataat alpha=0.05. and scientific judgments on the relationship between pol- lutant concentrations and environmental and human health effects.” 5SYMPTOM Phi value p value significant We found that based on one or both standards, levels ofSkin Symptoms 0.240 0.000 yes cyanide were elevated at the CIP Mill Outlet and at Tail-Eye Irritation 0.119 0.018 yes ings Dam 5A. Lead and mercury levels were elevated atNasal Irritation 0.123 0.015 yes the CIP Mill Outlet and at Tailings Dam 5A during theVomiting 0.146 0.004 yes spot sample taken during the June 12 holiday.We used 2 standards to assess the levels of heavy metals B. Occupational Hazard Assessmentand cyanide. In the Philippines, it is the Department of Among the 88 workers included in this survey, only 23Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) that sets had not suffered from any accidents. Prevalence of inju-the standards for industrial effluents. 4 However, the ries are as follows: 101
  • environment watch: karayan abra The interviewed mineworkers attributed their injuries to the following causes: Cause of Injury Frequency Rate Rock/ Timber Fall 44 44.90 Tool Involved 15 15.31 Machine Involved 8 8.16 Load Involved 4 4.08 Vehicle Involved 4 4.08 Slippery Surface 1 1.02 Not Specified 22 22.45 TOTAL 98 100.00 Twenty percent (20.41%) of injuries required hospitalization, 14.29% required suturing. There was an observation by some that supervisors try to convince them not to report their injuries so that these are not included in official records. Others who are confined in the hospital or at home are asked to sign the time-in record so that no lost-time is reported. There is also a perception among the workers that not all information about their illnesses is revealed to them at the company hospital. Many prefer to have their x-rays and laboratory examinations done outside even if they have to pay for these themselves. In terms of personal protective equipment, reported use is as follows:102
  • environment watch: karayan abraWorkers report that it is the workers’ responsibility to ask for replacement of worn-out equipment such as ear plugs.Oftentimes, these are out-of-stock and the worker has to keep coming back to the supplies office.The most prevalent work-associated symptoms reported by the workers were the following: The most prevalent physical findings are the following: 103
  • environment watch: karayan abra Discussion Cabitin is nearer the Mine Tailings Dam 5A, it is also A. Environmental Hazard Assessment situated at 100-343 meters above it. The community of The residents of the 3 communities of Paalaban, Camay Camay, on the other hand, sits right beside the river. and Cabitin report exposure to mine drainage most com- monly through inhalation, less commonly through im- A major limitation of this study is its reliance on exposure mersion and least commonly through ingestion. The most and symptom recall by the respondents. Respondents are prevalent symptoms reported as a consequence of expo- more likely to report symptoms they developed acutely sure were: cough (48.5%), nasal irritation (31.6%), skin after exposure rather than symptoms that developed a symptoms such as rash, pruritus and burning sensation long time after the exposure. This could have resulted in (31.6%), eye irritation (16.5%) and vomiting (10.5%). information bias. Statistical analysis showed that the differences in preva- lence of skin symptoms, eye irritation, nasal irritation In addition, since this is a prevalence study changes in and vomiting reported among Lower Paalaban (nearer the pattern of symptoms over time were not taken into the mine drainage) compared to Upper Paalaban (far- consideration. ther away from the mine drainage) were significant. Environmental monitoring showed that levels of lead, B. Occupational Hazard Assessment mercury and cyanide were elevated at the outlet of the Mining accounted for 30,000 disabling injuries in the US company carbon-in-pulp mill and at Mine Tailings Dam in 1988 (or an injury rate of 4.9 per 100,000 or 0.49%). 5A. This study found an injury rate of 73.87% among the corporate mineworkers studied. The most prevalent inju- The symptoms reported by the residents are compatible ries were lacerations (43.18%), crushing injuries with known acute and chronic effects of lead, mercury (17.05%), bruises (14.77%) and fractures (13.64%). and cyanide. However these symptoms are by no means Twenty percent (20%) of these cases required hospitaliza- specific to toxicity to these heavy metals. tion. The residents of Paalaban are most at risk for developing A 1997 study of underground gold mining in Itogon, symptoms related to these elevated levels of toxic chemi- Benguet reported being hit by falling objects as the lead- cals since they live nearest the company mill outlet. The ing type of accident.6 In our study, rock and timber fall differences in prevalence of symptoms between those liv- was also identified as the leading cause of injury, followed ing nearer the mine drainage (Lower Paalaban) as com- by accidents involving a machine or a tool. pared to those living farther away (Upper Paalaban) is the strongest indicator of a positive association between Most prevalent among the work-associated symptoms re- exposure to mine drainage and the development of symp- ported by the mineworkers were: phlegm production toms. (79.55%), joint pain (78.41%), eye irritation (67.05%), headache (55.68%), dyspnea (48.86%) and dizziness A confounding variable identified in this study is that (36.36%). Most prevalent abnormal physical findings more residents of Lower Paalaban engage in small-scale were hypertension (21.43%) and perforated eardrum mining and are therefore increasing their exposure to (19.32%). mine drainage more than the residents not involved in small scale mining. The above findings were related with the hazards identi- fied by the mineworkers during focus group discussions. It would also be plausible to consider that as one goes A description of specific hazards per job title were obtained downstream, the prevalence of mine drainage-associated from interviews of the mineworkers. However only the symptoms would decrease. However, this trend cannot more prominent hazards are mentioned here: be firmly established among the 3 communities studied. A possible confounder is geographical elevation – While 1. Dust, Fumes and Other Inhaled Particles104
  • environment watch: karayan abraAmong the most prevalent symptoms reported by the International Agency for Research on Cancer pronouncedmineworkers are phlegm production (79.55%) and dysp- that “diesel engine exhaust is probably carcinogenic tonea (48.86%). They described their phlegm as becoming humans”. 7black in color after exposure to mine dust and fumes fromblasting. However, the development of pneumoconiosis are hard to detect through symptom survey and physical examina-The mineworkers complained in particular about the tion alone. These need to be documented through repeatedfumes coming from the diesel engines of the trucks (LPT/ chest x-rays and pulmonary function testing.LHD) they now use inside the enclosed mine tunnels. Ex-posure to diesel particulate matter is associated with in- 2. Noisecreased rates of death and disease. As early as 1989, the The US National Institute for Occupational Safety and 105
  • environment watch: karayan abra Health (NIOSH) has identified noise-induced hearing loss only slightly higher than that obtained by the Food and as 1 of the top 10 work-related diseases and injuries in Nutrition Research Institute in the Cordillera Region mining. The workers in LCMCo report the rock drill ma- (CAR).10 chine, blasting, the hoist mechanism and the crusher machines as the primary sources of noise. The need to use Special note must also be made regarding the inconsistent light signals or sign language or to shout is an indication supply and use of personal protective equipment. that noise levels are above 85-90 dB most of the time. NIOSH requires hearing protection at the exposure limit Conclusions and recommendation of 90dBA over an 8-hour period.8 The Philippines has simi- This preliminary report makes the following conclusions: lar standards. 1. The presence of toxic levels of lead, mercury and cya- The high prevalence of ruptured eardrum (19.32%) and nide have been documented at the outlet of the corporate ear discharge (4.55%) during the physical examination mill site and at Mine Tailings Dam 5A. must be further investigated in relation to this. Some of these cases of ruptured eardrum may be related to dyna- 2. Residents of the 3 communities surveyed reported expo- mite blasting underground. sure to mine drainage through inhalation, immersion and ingestion. The symptoms reported are compatible with 3. Heat the toxic effects of lead, mercury and cyanide. Heat is a hazard present in enclosed workplaces such as underground mines. A similar case exists in LCMCo where 3. A statistically significant association between proxim- workers report conditions of extreme heat underground. ity of residence to the mine drainage site and prevalence Frequent heat exhaustion has been reported at Level 700. of symptoms was found in Upper and Lower Paalaban. 4. Vibration 4. Among the corporate mineworkers studied, the most Vibration may be whole body or hand-arm. Whole body prevalent injuries were lacerations (43.18%), crushing vibration is considered a generalized stressor affecting injuries (17.05%), bruises (14.77%) and fractures truck drivers and heavy equipment operators, among oth- (13.64%) usually involving rock or timber fall. Twenty ers. Musculoskeletal disorders from hand-arm vibration is percent (20%) of these cases required hospitalization. Per- related to ischemia of the small blood vessels supplying sonal protective equipment were inconsistently supplied the fingers brought about by the prolonged operation of and used. hand-held machinery. 9 Thirty-one percent (31.82%) of workers at Lepanto complained of such numbness. 5. Most prevalent among the work-associated symptoms reported by the mineworkers were: phlegm production 5. Ergonomic stresses, such as heavy lifting and/or pro- (79.55%), joint pain (78.41%), eye irritation (67.05%), longed awkward positions – headache (55.68%), dyspnea (48.86%) and dizziness (36.36%). Most prevalent abnormal physical findings Work-related musculoskeletal disorders is the term used were hypertension (21.43%) and perforated eardrum to refer to disorders involving the nerves, tendons, muscles (19.32%). These were related with the physical, chemical and support structures which may be caused or made worse and ergonomic hazards identified at the corporate mining by the work place. At LCMCo, 78.41% of workers reported operations. joint pains, usually associated with lifting heavy objects at work. Physical examination also showed 17% with swell- The following recommendations are thus put forward: ing of the extremities. 1. Proceed with the measurement of blood levels of cya- While hypertension is the most common physical finding, nide with focus on Paalaban residents who live nearest the the prevalence rate of 28.41% among the mineworkers is mine drainage. Correlate these measurements with the106
  • environment watch: karayan abrapresent findings. posure. This surveillance system may take the form of a cohort study.2. Conduct further research with quantitative measuresof exposure and symptomatology. A case-control study is 5. Conduct on-site quantification of hazards such as noise,appropriate for this, using a peasant community with simi- heat, etc.lar ethnic background but not living along the Abra Riveras control. 6. Conduct further studies with focus on worker’s pulmo- nary health, including x-rays and pulmonary function3. Conduct further research to confirm the relation be- testing.tween goiter prevalence rates and chronic cyanide poison-ing and between nutrition status and arsenic poisoning. 7. Feedback the results of this study to the company, the workers’ union and concerned government agencies for4. Institute a surveillance system in the area in order to proper action.document any chronic health effects of mine drainage ex-1 www.census.gov.ph/census20002 Guillette, Elizabeth Ph.D., Performing a Community Health Assessment, Gainsville, Florida, USA.3 Department of Labor-Mines Safety and Health Administration, Guidelines for Medical Surveillance and Biological Monitoring for MinersExposed to Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead and Mercury, USA.4 Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Administrative Order No. 35 (Revised Effluent Regulations of 1990, Revising andAmending the Effluent Regulations of 1982), Philippines5 Environmental Protection Agency, National Recommended Water Quality Criteria, USA, 2002.6 Underground Gold Mining in Itogon, Benguet: Implications and Impact of OHS-Hazards and Environmental Protection Liabilities on Workers,Communities and Ecosystems, Institute for Occupational Health and Safety Develoment, 1997, unpublished work.7 US Mining Safety and Health Administration, Practical Ways to Reduce Exposure to Diesel Exhaust in Mining—A Toolbox, www.msha.gov8 Mining Safety and Health Administration, New Standards Add Protections for Miners Exposed to Noise, News Release, United States ofAmerica, September 1999.9 Ibid.10 Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology, Philippine Nutrition Facts and Figures, Philippines, April 2001Paper by Ana Marie R. Leung, MDChairperson, Department of Preventive and Community MedicineSaint Louis University College of Medicine1st Prize Poster Exhibit Contest5th Health Research for Action National ForumHealth Policy Development and Planning Bureau, Department of HealthPhilippine Council for Health Research and Development, Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCHRD)June 3-4, 2004Funding Support Provided By:Saint Louis University College of Medicine-Far Eastern University Nicanor Reyes Memorial Foundation Twinning ProjectPhilippine Council for Health Research and Development 107
  • environment watch: karayan abra health indices I. Basic Health Indices Health Indices CAR Ilocos Region 5-Year Average 2003 % Increase/ 5-Year Average 2003 % Increase/ (1998-2002) (Decrease) (1998-2002) (Decrease) Crude Birth Rate* 22.38 22.46 0.36 22.18 20.85 (5.99) Crude Death Rate* 3.89 4.13 6.17 5.31 5.37 1.13 Infant Mortality Rate** 11.64 9.39 (19.33) 11.56 11.30 2.25 Maternal Mortality Rate** 0.78 0.68 (12.82) 0.28 0.37 32.14 *Rate per 1,000 population **Rate per 1,000 livebirths108
  • environment watch: karayan abraII. Leading Causes of Morbidity and Mortality A. Leading Causes of Mortality National ILOCOS Ilocos Sur Cervantes Quirino Santa Bantay Vigan Caoayan REGION1 Diseases of Cardiovascu- Pneumonia Cancer Cerebrovascular Metabolic Cardiovascular Pneumonia Pneumonia the Heart lar Disease Accident Encephalopathy diseases J18.9 Diseases of Pneumonia Cerebrovascular Congestive Pulmonary TB Cancer Cerebrovascular Cerebrovas- Undetermined2 the Vascular Accident Heart Failure Accidents cular Accident Etiology R99 System Pneumonias Cancer Cancer Cerebrovascu- Bleeding, Peptic CP Arrest 2° Malignancy Cancer Cancer, all3 lar Diseases Ulcer, Chronic Senility forms M Anemia, 8000/3 Diabetes,4 Malignant Pulmonary Accident, Multiple Organ Drowning, Cerebrovascular Pneumonia Asthenia COPD J44.9 Neoplasms Tuberculosis Violence and Failure Pneumonia Accidents Poisoning Vehicular Accident,5 TB, all forms Accidents Cardiovascular Pulmonary TB Chronic Congestive Accident Myocardial Senility FO3 Diseases Obstructive Heart Failure Infarction Pulmonary Accidents Cerebrovas- TB, all forms Vehicular Disease,Peptic Pneumonia, Chronic Congestive CVA I646 cular Accident Ulcer Disease Senile Deb. Obstructive Heart Failure Accident Diabetes Disease Pulmonary Multiple Stab Diseases Wounds Chronic Chronic Multiple Organ Drowning Cerebral Status COPD Heart7 Obstructive Obstructive Failure Sepsis Hemorrhage due Asthmaticus Diseases/ Pulmonary Pulmonary to vehicular CVD F11 Diseases and Disease accident Allied Conditions Other Kidney Peptic Ulcer Status Diabetes Mellitus Diabetes Renal8 diseases of Diseases Asthmaticus Mellitus Disease the N15.9 Respiratory System Diabetes Septicemia Chronic Cerebral Dengue Vascular Gunshot9 Mellitus Obstructive Hemorrhage due Disease, Wound N34; Pulmonary to gunshot Liver Drowning Disorder wound Cirrhosis W69; Stab Wound Y09 Diarrheal Liver Renal Failure Prematurity Multi- organ Head Injury Degenerative Diseases Diseases failure Joint10 Diseases N81.9 Source: Source: DOH- Source: 2001 Source: Source: Rural Source: Santa Source: Bantay Source: Vigan Source: Philippine Region I, Health Data from Cervantes Health Unit- Municipal Health Municipal Health City Health Caoayan Health 2003 the Ilocos Sur Municipal Quirino. Office, 2002 Office, 2002 Office, 2002 Municipal Statistics, Profile 2002 Health Office, 2003(Note: Health Statistics Health Statistics Health Health Office, 1995 (National 2003(Note: Causes listed Statistics 2002 Health Objectives for Causes listed under 3 have Statistics Health) under 6 have the same rate) the same rate) 109
  • environment watch: karayan abra CAR Abra Luba Manabo Lagangilang Bangued Langiden Benguet Mankayan Mountain Province 1 Cardiovas- Pneumonia Senility TB, Pneumonia Pneumonia Gunshot Cardiovascular cular respiratory TB, wound Disease Disease respiratory Pneumonia Cardiovascu- Cancers(colon, Cancer Congestive Diseases of the Pneumonia Pneumonia 2 lar Disease/ liver, vulva, Heart Heart Cerebrovas- lung) Failure Hypertension cular Disease Hyperten- sive Heart Disease Cancer (All Pulmonary Cerebro- Septicemia Cerebro- Cerebro- Malignant 3 Forms) Tuberculosis vascular Myocardial vascular vascular Neoplasms Accident Infarct Accident Accident 4 Accidents Cancer Cardiac Arrest Coronary Diabetes Myocardial Gastrointestinal Thrombosis Mellitus Infarct Diseases Bronchial Asthma Cancer (thyroid) TB, all Peptic Ulcer Heart Disease, Atheroscle- TB, respiratory Homicide 5 forms Disease Congestive rosis Heart Failure, Pneumonia, Rabies,Ulcer, Chronic Renal Failure 6 Homicide Gun Shot Gunshot Accidents Wound WoundLiver Disease Peptic Ulcer Diseases of Acute Renal 7 Disease the Heart Failure 8 Diabetes Chronic Convulsive Mellitus Obstructive Seizure (sic) Pulmonary Disease 9 Kidney Myocardial Disease Infarct 10 Senility Renal Failure Source: Source: Abra Source: DOH- Source: DOH- Source: Source: DOH- Source: DOH- Source: DOH-CAR, Provincial CAR, 2002 CAR, 2002 DOH-CAR, CAR, 2002 CAR, 2002 Mankayan 2003 Health Office, 2002 Rural Health 2002 Unit, 2001, as collated by CHESTCORE Leading Causes of Mortality continued110
  • environment watch: karayan abraB. Leading Causes of Morbidity National ILOCOSREGION Ilocos Sur Cervantes Quirino Santa Bantay Vigan Caoayan Diarrhea Acute Bronchitis Upper Respiratory ARI Upper Respiratory ARI JO6.91 Respiratory Respiratory Disorders Respiratory Disorder Gastro Infection Tract Infections Tract Infections2 Pneumonia Diarrhea Diarrhea Gastro- EENT Disorders Viral Infection Muskulo- Muscolo- Intestinal IntestinalDisorders skeletal Skeletal Disorders Disorders Disorder3 Hypertension Influenza SkinDisorders Dental Cases Acute Bronchitis Hypertension Dermatological Injuries (Open Gastroenteritis Disorder Wound)4 Influenza Pulmonary Influenza Musculo- Genito-Urinary Influenza Dental Caries Gastro- Skin Diseases Tuberculosis skeletal Disorders Intestinal Disorders Disorder5 TB Bronchial Pneumonia Skin Disorders GastroIntestinal Acute Bronchitis Other Infectious Muskulo- Respira- Asthma Disorders Diseases skeletal tory Disorders6 Hyperten- Chicken Pox TB, all forms Other Hypertension Gastroenteritis Dermatological Cardio-vascular Bronchial sion Nutritional and Bronchial Disorder Disorder Asthma Vitamin Asthma Disorders7 Malaria Typhoid and Diseases of Cardio- UBI ? HCVD/Essential Hypertension Others Pulmonary Paratyphoid The Heart VascularDiseases Hypertension Tuberculosis Chicken Measles Measles EENT Dyspepsia Vertigo Injuries Minor Surgery/ Cardio-8 Pox Disorders Injuries vascular Diseases/ Hypertension I11 Diseases Heart Diseases Typhoid Anemia Systemic Viral Wound Infection EENT Disorder Nutritional and Influenza9 of The Fever Illness Vitamin (Epidemic Heart Deficiency Mayaljia) B33.0 Measles Dengue Fever Chicken Pox UrinaryTract Musculoskeletal Rheumatoid Parasitism Genito-Urinary Anemia (Iron10 Infection Disorders Arthritis Disorder Deficiency) 050.9 Source: Source: DOH Source: 2001 Source: Source: Quirino Source: Santa Source: Source: Vigan Source: Philippine Region I, 2003 Health Data Cervantes Rural Health Municipal Health Bantay City Health Caoayan Health from the Municipal Unit, 2003 Office, 2002 Municipal Office, 2002 Municipal Statistics, Ilocos Sur Health Office, Health Statistics Health Office, Health Statistics Health Office, 1997 Provincial 2003 2002 Health 2002 Health (National Profile 2002 Statistics Statistics Objectives for Health) 111
  • environment watch: karayan abra CAR Abra Benguet Mankayan Mt. Province Bronchitis Acute Upper Acute Respiratory 1 Respiratory Tract Infection Infection Upper Respiratory Tract Bronchitis Bronchitis 2 Infection/ Cough and Colds Acute Lower Influenza Diarrheas 3 Respiratory Tract Infection and Pneumonia 4 Influenza Pneumonia Urinary Tract Infection 5 Diarrhea Diarrhea Goiter 6 Hypertension Hypertension Hypertension 7 Tonsillitis Gastritis Wound/ Injury 8 Parasitism Measles Allergic Dermatitis 9 Asthma Wounds, all types Pneumonias 10 Skin Diseases Urinary Tract Asthma Infection Source: DOH-CAR, Source: Abra Source: Mankayan Rural 2003 Provincial Health Health Unit, 2001, as Office, 2002 collated by CHESTCORE Leading Causes of Morbidity continued C. Deaths Due to Cancer Among the regions with the highest prevalence of reported cancers is Region I (third highest nationwide). Source: National Objectives for Health (Philippine Health Statistics), 1994). National Region I Santa Vigan CAR Mankayan 31,606* 2,099 14 (2000); 12 (2001); 34 (23 males, 441 15 13 (2002) 11 females) Source: DOH Source: DOH Source: Santa Source: Vigan Source: DOH Source: website website Municipal Health City Health website Mankayan Rural Office, 2002 Health Office, 2002 Health Unit, 2001 Statistics Health Statistics *total cases reported112
  • environment watch: karayan abraD. Cardiovascular Diseases1. Morbidity rates due to Cardiovascular DiseasesRegion I has the second highest morbidity rates due to cardiovascular disease. CAR has third highest morbidity ratesdue to cardiovascular disease.Source: National Objectives for Health (Philippine Health Statistics), 1994).2. Percentages of Adults With Varying Degrees of HypertensionRegion I has the highest proportion of adults with high blood pressure.Source: Philippine Nutrition Facts and Figures, FNRI-DOST, April 2001 Degree of National Region I CAR Hypertension Mild 14* 41 16.3 Moderate 4.3 4.5 3.8 Severe 2.1 0.9 1.0 Very Severe 0.6 0.5 0.2 TOTAL 21.0 49.6 21.3 Source: Philippine Nutrition Facts and Figures, FNRI-DOST, April 2001 *All values in percent (%) unless otherwise stated.E. Prevalence of Goiter Among Filipinos, 7 Years Old and Above National Region I Santa Vigan Caoayan CAR 6.7* 6.3* 4 cases 66 cases non-prevalent 8.4* Source: Philippine Nutrition Facts and Source: Santa Source: Vigan City Source: Caoayan Source: Philippine Figures, FNRI-DOST, April 2001 Municipal Health Health Office, Municipal Health Office, Nutrition Facts and Office, 2002 Health 2002 Health 2002 Health Statistics Figures, FNRI-DOST, Statistics Statistics April 2001* All values in percent (%) unless otherwise stated.II. Maternal and Child Health A. Infant Health 1. Infant Mortality Rate National Region I Ilocos Sur Santa Vigan CAR Abra Benguet Mt. Province 48.93* 11.30 8.21 2% 4.03% 10.2 7.9 5.3 8.9 Source: Source: Source: Source: Source: Source: Source: Source: Source: Philippine DOH DOH Santa Vigan DOH- DOH- DOH- DOH- Health Re- Region I, Municipal City CAR, CAR, CAR, CAR, Statistics, gion I, 2003 Health Health 2003 2003 2003 2003 1995 2003 Office, Office, (National 2002 2002 Objec- Health Health tives for Statistics Statistics Health)* All values per 1,000 live births unless otherwise stated. 113
  • environment watch: karayan abra 2. Leading Causes of Infant Mortality National ILOCOS Ilocos Sur Cervantes Quirino Santa Vigan CAR Abra REGION Respiratory Pneumonia Pneumonia No infant No infant Prematurity Pneumonia Pneumonias Prematurity conditions of mortalities mortalities (2002); Sepsis the fetus and reported reported Neonatorum newborn (2001) Pneumonia Respiratory Prematurity Congenital Heart Prematurity Sepsis Distress Disease Neonatorum Syndrome Congenital Prematurity Congenital Cardio- Sepsis/ Broncho- Anomalies (Anomaly) respiratory Septicemia pneumonia Arrest Diarrheal Congenital Sepsis Asphyxia Acute Diseases Debility Noenaturum Respiratory Syndrome, Birth Injury and Septicemia Hyaline Respiratory Acute Difficult Labor Membrane Distress Respiratory Disease Syndrome Infection, Pneumonia, Septicemia Gastroenteritis Asphyxia Neonatal Sepsis Dehydration, Diseases of the Congestive Heart Heart Failure Meningitis Congenital Heart Heart Disease Congenital Heart Diseases Disease Avitaminosis Asphyxia Aspiration Congenital and other Anomaly Nutritional Disorders Other Diseases Malnutrition Respiratory Accidents of the Respiratory System Measles Sepsis Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Source: Source: DOH Source: 2001 Source: Source: Quirino Source: Santa Source: Vigan Source: DOH- Source: Abra Philippine Region I, 2003 Health Data from Cervantes Rural Rural Health Municipal Health City Health CAR, 2001 Provincial Health the Provincial Health Unit, Unit, 2003 Office, 2002 Office, 2002 Health Office, Statistics, 1994 Health Office (in 2003 Health Statistics Health Statistics 2002 (National the Ilocos Sur Objectives for Profile 2002) Health)114
  • environment watch: karayan abraB. Maternal MortalityNational ILOCOS Ilocos Sur Cervantes Quirino Vigan CAR Abra Benguet Mankayan Mountain REGION ProvinceNeonatal Eclampsia Eclampsia No maternal No maternal Uterine Placental Postpartum No maternalDelivery and deaths deaths Atony Retention Hemorrhage mortalitiesOther reported reported Abortion reported.Complica-tions relatedtoPregnancyOccurring inthe Courseof Labor,Delivery andPuerperiumHyperten- Post-Partum Post-partum Postpartumsion Hemorrhage Hemorrhage HemorrhagePost-partum Hypovolemia HypertensionHemorrhagePregnancy Retained Placenta Previawith Abortive Placenta TotalisOutcomeHemorrhage ToxemiaRelated toPregnancy Eclampsia Septic Induced Abortion Pregnancy Induced Hypertension Placenta Accreta AbortionMaternal 0.37* 0.20 0.7 (DOH-CAR, 0.0 1.3 1.0Mortality 2003)RateSource: Source: DOH Source: DOH Source: Source: Source: Source: DOH- Source: Source: Source:Philippine Region I, Region I, Cervantes Quirino Rural Vigan City CAR, 2001 DOH-CAR, DOH-CAR, DOH-CAR,Health 2003 2003 Rural Health Health Unit, Health 2003 2003 2003Statistics, Unit, 2003 2003 Office, 20021994 Health(National StatisticsObjectivesfor Health)* All values per 1,000 live births 115
  • environment watch: karayan abra C. Nutrition Status 1. Food Consumption The Ilocos Region is one of two regions which are the biggest consumers of rice products. Ilocos Region is one of three regions which record the largest consumption of vegetables. Ilocos and CAR are two of three regions which record the largest consumption of vegetables. Percent Adequacy of Mean One-Day per Capita Energy and Protein Intake % Adequacy National Region I CAR Energy Intake 87.8 90.0 94.6 Protein Intake 106.2 103.3 105.6 Source: Philippine Nutrition Facts and Figures, FNRI-DOST, April 2001 2. Anthropometric Measurements The Ilocos Region has the fourth highest incidence of underweight children (38 in every 100) Weight-for-Age (Percentage of Children 0-5 Years Old who are Underweight) National Region I Ilocos Sur CAR Benguet Abra Mountain Province 32.0 36.2 26.3 26.7 11.6 34.8 18.8 Source: Philippine Nutrition Facts and Figures, FNRI-DOST, April 2001 Height-for-Age (Percentage of Children 0-5 Years Old who are Stunted National Region I Ilocos Sur CAR Benguet Abra Mountain Province 34.0 26.7 20.6 41 34.2 33.4 49.0 Source: Philippine Nutrition Facts and Figures, FNRI-DOST, April 2001 Weight-for-Height (Percentage of Children 0-5 Years Old who are Wasted) National Region I Ilocos Sur CAR Benguet Abra Mountain Province 6.0 7.8 8.0 3.3 1.2 8.9 0.3 Source: Philippine Nutrition Facts and Figures, FNRI-DOST, April 2001116
  • environment watch: karayan abra(Eligible Population = 6-59 mos old unless otherwise stated) Na- Region I Ilocos Sur Cervantes Quirino Santa Bantay Vigan Caoayan tional (0-71 months) (0 - 59 (undefined (0 - 59 months) age bracket) months) Mildly 24.66% 23.00% None reported 312 children 693 children 744 children 475 children Underweight (First Degree) Moderately 3.89% 3.24% 11.30% 10.8% 57 96 81 93 Underweight (Second Degree) Severely 0.51% 0.22% 0.77% 0% 1 8 4 7 Underweight (Third Degree) Normal 65.89% 69.20% 86.36% Weight (Overweight) 5.05% 4.34% 1.58% 145 250 Source: Consoli- Source: Source: Source: RHU- Source: Santa Source: Source: Vigan Source: dated Sheet of Consolidated Cervantes Region I, 2001 Municipal Bantay City Health Caoayan Operation Timbang Sheet of Municipal Health Office, Municipal Office, 2002 Municipal Results, DOH Operation Health Office, 2002 Health Health Office, Health Health Office, Region I, Timbang 1st quarter Statistics 2002 Health Statistics 2002 Health 2003Eligible Results, DOH 2004 Statistics Statistics Population = 0-83 Region I, 2003 months CAR Abra Benguet Mountain Province 4.71* 9.02 1.72 3.59 Moderately Under- weight 0.43 1.21 0.16 0.37 Severely Underweight (Overweight) Source: DOH-CAR, Source: DOH-CAR, Source: DOH-CAR, Source: DOH-CAR, 2001 2001 2001 2001 117
  • environment watch: karayan abra 3. Vitamin A Deficiency Abra is identified as one of the provinces where pregnant women are at high risk of suffering from Vitamin A Deficiency. Percentage of Selected Populations Who Are Deficient in Vitamin A (Philippine Nutrition Facts and Figures, FNRI- DOST, April 2001) NATIONAL ILOCOS SUR ABRA BENGUET MT. PROVINCE Children 5 mos- 8.2 8.3 14.0 0.7 6.2 5yrs old Pregnant Women 7.1 2.9 11.0 0.0 2.3 Lactating Women 3.9 1.5 1.0 0.0 13.8 4. Iron-Deficiency Anemia Percentage of Selected Populations With Iron-Deficiency Anemia (Philippine Nutrition Facts and Figures, FNRI-DOST, April 2001) NATIONAL ILOCOS SUR ABRA BENGUET MT. PROVINCE Children 6 mos-1yr old 56.6 54.0 73.4 66.4 55.9 Children 1-5 yrs 29.6 29.3 24.6 26.0 7.9 Children 6 mos – 5 yrs 31 21.5 29.1 29.8 12.3 Pregnant Women 50.7 56.0 42.8 17.5 45.1 Lactating Women 45.7 62.6 29.7 33.0 39.6118
  • environment watch: karayan abraIII. Water and SanitationA. Water Supply (percentage of population served) National Region I Ilocos Sur Cervantes CAR Abra Benguet Mt. Province Level I 88% 17.8% 25.0% 36.6% 19.7% 15.7% Level II 12% 62.26% 27.4% 33.0% 26.4% 23.8% Level III 19.94% 47.5% 30.4% 53.9% 60.5% Source: Prov’l. Source:Cervantes Source:DOH- Source:DOH- Source:DOH- Source:DOH- Water Supply, Municipal Health CAR, 2003 CAR, 2003 CAR, 2003 CAR, 2003 Sewerage and Office, 2004 Sanitation Sector Plan, 1995 (in the Ilocos Sur Profile 2002)Level I: Spring or protected wellLevel II: Piped system serving 4-6 households, within 25 metersLevel III: Full waterworks system with faucet per householdB. Sanitary Toilet Facilities National Region I Ilocos Sur Cervantes Quirino Santa Bantay Vigan CaoayanHousehold 93.73% 102.26% 35.44% 82.7% 2,340 (water- 4,864 (92%) 6,944 875 (water-with Sanitary sealed), 120 sealed, sewer/Toilet (flush) septic tank, exclusive); 208 (water- sealed, sewer/ septic tank, shared); 751 (water-sealed, other dep., exclusive); 457 (water- sealed, other dep., shared)Household 89.44% 80.71% 17.2% 130 (closedwith Complete pit); 71 (openSanitation pit)FacilitiesNone 580 Source: Source: Source: Source: Rural Source: Santa Source: Source: Vigan Source: NSO Environmental Environmental Cervantes Health Unit, Municipal Bantay City Health (in Caoayan Health Report, Health Report, Municipal Quirino, 2001 Health Office, Municipal Office, 2002 CLUP 2000) DOH Region I, DOH Region I, Health Unit, 2002 Health Health Office, Health 2003 2003 2004 Statistics 2002 Health Statistics Statistics 119
  • environment watch: karayan abra CAR Abra Benguet Mountain Province Household with Sanitary Toilet 76.0% 80.4% 74.0% 68.5% Household without Complete Sanitation Facilities 54.8% 57.5% 40.8% 42.1% None Source: Environmental Health Report, DOH-CAR, 2003 Sanitary Toilet Facilities continued C. Garbage Disposal National Region I Ilocos Sur Cervantes Quirino Bantay CAR Abra Benguet Mt. Province Household 52.58% 92.56% 27.50% 82.7% 5,153 61.2% 66.4% 48.0% 44.0% with (97.6%) Satisfactory Garbage Disposal Source: Source: DOH Source: Source: Rural Source: Source: Environmen- Region I, Cervantes Health Unit, Bantay Environmen- tal Health 2003 Municipal Quirino, 2001 Municipal tal Health Report, DOH Health Health Report, DOH- Region I, Office, 2004 Office, 2002 CAR, 2003 2003 Health Statistics Garbage Disposal Method (Household) Cervantes Santa Bantay Burning 1,308 1,130 4,045 Open Dumping 807 363 306 Composting 330 1,140 59 Picked up by service garbage trucks/carts 105 255 Burying 17 195 Feeding to animals Others 88 10 Total 2,655 4,870 Source: Sanitary Source: Santa Municipal Source: 1990 NSO (in Inspector’s Office, Sept. Health Office, 2002 Health Bantay CLUP 2000) 2000 (in Cervantes CLUP Statistics 2000)120
  • environment watch: karayan abra1. Health Resourcesa. Government Facilities National Region I Ilocos Sur Cervantes Quirino San Emilio Santa Bantay Vigan CaoayanRural Health Unit 150 34 1 1 1 1 1 1Barangay Health 903 160 5 3 4 3 11 Unit/Station/ Center Public Hospital 38 8 1 1Private Hospital 86 24 2 11 Source: DOH Source: DOH Source: Source: Source: 2001 Region I, Region I, Cervantes Santa Health Data 2001 2002 Municipal Municipal from the Health Health Provincial Office, 2004 Office, 2002 Health Office Health (as quoted in Statistics the Ilocos Sur Provincial Profile 2002) CAR Abra Benguet Mountain Province Rural Health Unit 88 27 13 10 Barangay Health Unit/Station/Center 551 88 140 86Public Hospitals Under the Local Government Unit 31 5 6 5 Public Hospitals Under the National Government 5 0 0 1 Private Hospital 22 5 3 1 Source: Licensing, Regulations and Enforcement Division, DOH-CAR, 2003 Main Government Hospitals Per Province ILOCOS SUR Bessang Pass District Hospital Salcedo Medicare and Community Hospital Gabriela Silang Memorial Hospital (Provincial) Central Ilocos Sur District Hospital Magsingal District Hospital Santa Lucia District Hospital Sinait District Hospital Southern Ilocos Sur District Hospital ABRA Abra Provincial Hospital Dolores Medicare and Community Hospital La Paz District Hospital Villa Viciosa Medicare and Community Hospital Bucay District Hospital Atok District Hospital BENGUET Kapangan Medicare and Community Hospital Benguet General Hospital (Provincial) Source: Department of Health website 121
  • environment watch: karayan abra b. Government Health Workers Region I Ilocos Sur Cervantes Quirino Caoayan CAR Benguet Abra Mt. Province Doctors 161 40 1 (MHO)+ 2 1 1 (MHO) 84 13 19 8 (hospital) Dentist 90 17 1 (hospital) 0 1 (MHO) 32 7 2 7 Nurse 192 28 1 (MHO) + 8 1 1 (MHO) 159 23 37 20 (hospital) Nursing No data No data 5 (hospital) 0 No data No data No data No data Attendant Midwives 1,010 150 6 (MHO) 5 4 (MHO) 612 131 99 106 Nutritionist 4 1 0 6 2 0 1 Pharmacist No data No data 1 (hospital) 1 No data No data No data No data Sanitary 183 33 1 (MHO) + 1 0 1 (MHO) 93 12 28 12 Engineer (hospital) Medical 26 1 1 (hospital) 25 142 41 7 3 5 Technologist Active BHWs* 19,497 2,839 0 5,575 1,234 1,435 923 Dental Aide 50 12 12 22 2 2 5 Trained Birth 50 12 0 1,533 248 381 375 Attendant Non-technical 1,260 421 98 2 7 4 Source:DOH Source: DOH Source: Source: Rural Source: Source: DOH- Source: DOH- Source: DOH- Source: DOH- Region I, Region I, Cervantes Health Unit, Caoayan CAR, 2003; CAR, 2003; CAR, 2003; CAR, 2003; 2003;employed 2003; Municipal Quirino, 2001 CLUP; 2001 does not does not does not does not by LGU employed by Health Office, Health Data include health include health include health include health LGU 1999 (in from the workers in workers in workers in workers in Cervantes Provincial hospitals and hospitals and hospitals and hospitals and CLUP 2000) Health Office provincial provincial provincial provincial (the Ilocos Sur health offices health offices health offices health offices Profile 2002)122
  • environment watch: karayan abrac. Health Budget National Region I Ilocos Sur Cervantes Quirino Santa Vigan 2001 unless 13,640,000,000 2,409,283.43(2003) P1,618,328.46 3,400492 P1,500,000 MOEotherwise stated2002 (Projected) 14,520,000,000 2,595,444.11(2004 1,536,527.12 3,525,420 projected)Per Person, Per 168.34(based on 163.38(based on 2004) 215.20(based on Year 2002) 2002) Source: Cervantes Source: Rural Health Source: Santa Municipal Health Office, Unit, Quirino, 2001 Municipal Health 2004 Office, 2002 Health Statistics 123
  • environment watch: karayan abra health effects of selected heavy metals and chemicals CHEMICAL ROUTE ACUTE HEALTH EFFECTS CHRONIC HEALTH EFFECTS INHALATION (industrial respiratory problems renal proteinuria setting)/ INGESTION (non- MERCURY occupational exposures) neurobehavioral effects (which may per- emotional changes (erethism), personality *Most vulnerable age sist more than 10 years after the end of changes groups: earliest prena- exposure) tal, immediately post- slowed sensory nerve conduction, natal, elderly paresthesia, hyposthesia, intention tremors INHALATION (most impor- Convulsions, delirium, headache, dizziness, Pallor tant route in industrial set- sleep disturbances, memory deficit and ting)/ INGESTION changes in personality such as increased Convulsions, delirium, coma, head-ache, LEAD *More absorption in: irritability, acute encephalopathy dizziness, sleep disturbance, memory children, persons defi- deficit, personality changes cient in calcium/ iron/ Nephropathy includes proximal tubule dam- vitamin D age and dysfunction wrist drop (especially dominant hand), foot drop Epigastric discomfort, nausea, anorexia, weight loss and dyspepsia, constipation arthralgia tubular dysfunction, interstitial fibrosis, renal failure epigastric discomfort, nausea, severe/ intermittent abdominal cramps (lead colic) increased incidence of miscarriage, abortion, stillbirth bluish stippling along the lower incisors (Burton’s gum lead line) INHALATION (industrial Fumes may cause metal fume fever with interstitial pulmonary disease, pulmonary COPPER setting)/ INGESTION(main flu like symptoms, irritation of the upper res- fibrosis, increased incidence of lung route)/ SKIN CONTACT piratory tract, metallic taste in the mouth adenocarcinoma and nausea124
  • environment watch: karayan abra May cause hair and skin discoloration and keratinization of liver cirrhosis, portal hypertension, the hands and the soles of the feet. angiosarcoma Eyes: irritation, conjunctivitis, eyelid edema, brown/ green hematuria, oliguria discoloration of the lens/ cornea and iris (chalcosis) leading to blindness nausea, headache- anemia, hemoglobinuria, massive Via inhalation:ARSENIC INGESTION/ hemolysis 1st: weakness, loss of appetite, INHALATION/ nausea, diarrhea DERMAL ECG abnormalities 2nd: conjuncitivitis, inflammation of ABSORPTION mucous membranes of the nose, gastric pain, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, leg cramps, larynx, respiratory passages, skin shock, stupor, paralysis, coma lesions 3rd: peripheral neuritis, anemia, exfoliative dermatitis, peripheral neuritis leukopenia- Via ingestion: 1. hyperpigmentation interspersed with smaller areas of hypopigmentation on the trunk and neck 2. hyperkeratosis of palms and soles with small corn-like elevations and diffuse keratosis known human carcinogen (lung and skin cancers, possibly other sites as well) Irritation of mucous membranes, dyspnea, headache, light- Delayed neurologic syndrome associ-CYANIDE headedness, nausea, vomiting, and agitation. Clinical ated with leukoencephalo-pathy, INHALATION/ INGESTION/ deterioration and apnea often follow rapidly. conjunctival irritation from direct SKIN CONTACT contact, and skin ulceration. Thyroid gland enlargement. Residual symptoms after chronic exposure include a bitter almond taste in the mouth and headache.CADMIUM INHALATION/ Inhalation of cadmium fumes may cause respiratory irritation irreversible lung damage INGESTION with a dry, sore throat and a metallic taste followed by a *Also inhaled in cough, chest pain and difficulty in breathing. Bronchitis, tubule proteinuria tobacco smoke. pneumonitis and pulmonary edema have also been reported as a result of the irritation of the fumes. A single, high level suspected human carcinogen exposure to cadmium can cause severe lung irritation which may be fatal. Headaches, dizziness, loss of appetite and weight loss have also been reported and the liver, kidneys and bone marrow may be injured by the presence of metal 125
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  • environment watch: karayan abra communities along abra river Communities along the banks of the Abra River, presently affected ot threatened by future expansion of Lepanto Consolidated Mining Corporation MUNICIPALITY Barangay Land Area Total Popn. Households Province Sitio (in hectares) (threatened) (threatened) MANKAYAN Benguet Balili 4,821 866 Bedbed 985 174 Bulalacao 2,881 508 Cabiten 1,867 345 Colalo 1,052 185 Guinaoang 1,806 334 Paco 7,100 1,376 Palasaan 1,678 328 Poblacion 3,606 784 Sapid 4,003 679 Tabio 3,280 637 Taneg 1,423 279 SubTotal 34,502 6,495 BUGUIAS Benguet SubTotal (33,177) (6,312) BAUKO Mountain Province SubTotal (27,729) (5,266) BONTOC Mountain Province Mainit (1,162) (278) TADIAN Mountain Province Dacudac (1,279) (218) Lenga (701) (122) Cadad-anan (1,150) (224) Pandayan (821) (158) Cagubatan (791) (156) Banaao (851) (162) Tue (778) (141) Poblacion (2,595) (541) Kayan East (969) (196) Kayan West (736) (142) Bunga (686) (126) Mabalite (458) (88) Proper128
  • environment watch: karayan abraMUNICIPALITY Barangay Land Area Total Popn. HouseholdsProvince Sitio (in hectares) (threatened) (threatened) Aluweg Lubon (1,831) (352) SubTotal (13,646) (2,626)CERVANTESIlocos Sur Remedios 4,356.0169 809 142 Concepcion (Poblacion) 209.8970 1,209 228 Aluling 1,942.4159 1,109 228 Bulaga Cawag Maupong Aluling Proper Rosario (Poblacion) 427.8638 1,658 306 Comillas North 878.1433 1,587 302 Bisayot Comillas South 2,479.5597 1,326 249 Badangan Naipit Camay Pilipil 850.0285 361 74 SubTotal 11,140.924 8,059 1,529QUIRINOIlocos Sur Banoen 1,159.6250 629 117 Cayus 3,188.2021 546 114 Lamag 821.3875 781 146 Patungkalew Cabaroan Madapoy/Maupong Malideg 1,567.3750 696 126 Banoen Namitpit 1,943.4186 1,032 182 Namitpit Bucnit Patiacan 6,339.9325 702 144 Bab-asig Maliten Inuman Legleg (Poblacion) 1,426.0000 1,489 278 Tumbaga Suagayan 2,658.6250 718 149 Tubtuba 4,905.6659 537 92 Apag SubTotal 24,010.2316 7,130 1,348 129
  • environment watch: karayan abra MUNICIPALITY Barangay Land Area Total Popn. Households Province Sitio (in hectares) (threatened) (threatened) SAN EMILIO Ilocos Sur Matibuey 945 180 TUBO Abra Supo 633 111 Wayangan 388 80 SubTotal 1,021 191 LUBA Abra Gayaman 1,071 186 Lul-luno 441 79 Lusong 842 167 Barit 590 110 SubTotal 2,944 542 MANABO Abra San Ramon (West) 1,982 368 Bugbog Tigtigaak Ayyeng (Poblacion) 1,340 286 SubTotal 3,322 654 BUCAY Abra Abang 704 138 Madalipay 276 49 Quimloong 492 85 Layugan 845 166 Pakiling 591 111 Banglolao 505 100 Tabiog 927 185 Bangbangcag 894 185 SubTotal 5,234 1,019 LAGANGILANG Abra Pawa 293 55 Presentar 589 124 Laang 606 135 Lagben 341 66 SubTotal 1,829 380 TAYUM Abra Bumagcat 735 143 Gaddani 1,229 243 Deet 822 156 Patucannay 1,117 227 Poblacion Tayum 2,342 485 SubTotal 6,245 1,254 BANGUED Abra Calaba 2,298 490 Poblacion Bangued 12,979 2,726 Palao 1,502 290130
  • environment watch: karayan abraMUNICIPALITY Barangay Land Area Total Popn. HouseholdsProvince Sitio (in hectares) (threatened) (threatened) Sta. Rosa 1,459 275 Bangbangar 1,735 348 Cabuloan 1,005 191 SubTotal 20,978 4,320LANGIDEN Abra Dalayap 467 89 Mabungtot 460 101 SubTotal 927 190DOLORES* Abra SubTotal 9,864 2,106PIDIGAN Abra Pob. Pidigan 2,531 470 Pamutic 563 109 Sulbec 632 121 SubTotal 3,726 700SAN QUINTINAbra Villa Mercedes 991 177 Palang 648 116 Poblacion San Quintin 708 137 SubTotal 2,347 430SANTAIlocos Sur Banaoang 268.0000 549 117 Namalangan 50.0000 698 141 Rizal 200.0000 666 139 Nagpanaoan 520.0000 503 96 Sacuyya Norte 145.0000 747 149 Sacuyya Sur 98.0000 550 108 Ampandula 1,050.0000 541 111 Basug 62.0000 264 54 Dammay 458.0000 219 46 Manueva 185.0000 885 187 Mabilbila Sur 795.0000 1,555 277 Oribi 20.0000 141 31 Bucalag 65.0000 333 63 Calungboyan 110.0000 424 88 Casiber 50.0000 529 109 Rancho 95.0000 608 125 SubTotal 4,171.0000 9,212 1,841BANTAYIlocos Sur San Mariano (Sallacong) 610.8000 275 58 Banaoang 823.2000 352 74 Paing 1,557 315 SubTotal 1,434.0000 2,184 447VIGANIlocos Sur Raois 123.3000 1,295 276 Rugsuanan 90.4000 1,013 192 Cabaroan Daya 106.0000 733 165 131
  • environment watch: karayan abra MUNICIPALITY Barangay Land Area Total Popn. Households Province Sitio (in hectares) (threatened) (threatened) Sitio Leongi Bongtolan 133.0000 508 104 Sitio Leongi Camangaan 81.6000 783 155 Sitio Nalasin SubTotal 534.3000 4,332 892 CAOAYAN Ilocos Sur Puro 227.5500 1,170 231 Naguilian 64.8300 1,300 274 Pantay Tamorong 428.4800 1,673 354 Villamar 108.4000 1,197 226 Don Alejandro Quirolgico (Pob.) 169.1600 1,165 246 Nansuagao 187.6000 474 96 SubTotal 1,186.0200 6,979 1,427 4 Provinces TOTAL* (including 121,916 23,839 threatened) (197,630) (38,321) *The population of the Municipality of Dolores (Abra) is not included in the totals pending the identification of the specific barangays along the Abra River.132
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  • environment watch: karayan abra general profile: abra Facts and figures Kalinga, on the west by Province of Ilocos Sur and on the Capital — Bangued south by Mountain Province. Population — 209,491 It has an extremely rugged terrain with mountains and hills along the periphery and in the interior of the prov- Percentage to the region’s population — 15.3% ince. Land area (square km) — 3,975.55 The Province has an elevation varying from 5 meters to a little over 2,000 meters above sea level. Number of voting precincts — 672 Number of registered voters — 133,194 Labor and employment indicators Total population 15 years and over (April 2003) — Number of congressional district — 1 142,000 Income class — 3rd class Labor force participation rate (April 2003) — 65.8% IRA (2004) — 271,198,646 Unemployment rate (April 2003) — 8.2% Legal basis of creation — Act 2711 Visible underemployment rate (April 2003) — 6.1% Date of creation — 03-10-1917 Source: NSCB-CAR, April 2003 Source: NSO Survey, 2000 Income indicators Comelec, April 2004 Average annual family income (2000) — P111,185 Location and boundaries Average annual family expenditure (2000) — P89,183 Hemmed in the towering mountain ranges of the Ilocos on the west and the Cordillera in the east, the Province of Annual per capita poverty threshold (2002) — P13,908 Abra occupies the western portion of the Cordillera re- gion. Abra is bounded on the north by the Provinces of Incidence of poor families (proportion of poor families to Ilocos Norte and Apayao, on the east by the Province of the total number of families as of 2000) — 48.8% Source: Department of Interior and Local Government — CAR, 2004134
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  • environment watch: karayan abra general profile: benguet Facts and figures Capital — La Trinidad and Ilocos Sur on the west, Mt. Province on the north, and Ifugao and Nueva Vizcaya on the east. Population — 330,129 Benguet, generally, is a mountainous area. Rising thou- Percentage to the region’s population — 24.2% sands of feet above sea level is the second highest moun- tain in the Philippines, Mt. Pulag, and a few feet lower Land area (square km) — 2,655.4 than Mt. Apo. Population density (person per sq.km) — 124 It has a rugged and sloping terrain, deep valleys, and four major rivers which drain into the China Sea. Number of municipalities — 13 Labor and employment indicators Number of barangays — 140 Total population 15 years and over (April 2003) — 230,000 Number of voting precincts — 834 Labor force participation rate (April 2003) — 69% Number of registered voters — 164,016 Unemployment rate (April 2003) — 10.7% Number of congressional district — 1 Visible underemployment rate (April 2003) — 4.6% Income class — 2nd class Source: NSCB-CAR, April 2003 IRA (2004) — 271,198,646 Income indicators Legal basis of creation — Act 2711 Average annual family income (2000) — P139,918 Date of creation — 03-10-1917 Average annual family expenditure (2000) — P117,354 Source: NSO Survey, 2000 Annual per capita poverty threshold (2002) — P13,725 Comelec, April 2004 Incidence of poor families (proportion of poor families to Location and boundaries the total number of families as of 2000) — 14.1% Located on the southernmost part of the region, bounded by the province of Pangasinan on the south, La Union Source: NSCB-CAR, April 2003 Source: Department of Interior and Local Government — CAR, 2004136
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  • environment watch: karayan abra general profile: ilocos sur Brief History Before the coming of the Spaniards, the coastal plains in of the province were annexed to it. the northwestern extremity of Luzon, stretching from Bangui in the north to Namapcpacan (Luna, La Union) in Legal Basis of Creation/ Date of Approval south, were as a whole known as a progressive region rich A royal decree on February 2, 1818 divided Ilocos Norte in gold. This hemmed in between the China Sea on the and Ilocos Sur, and in March 1917 the Philippine Legisla- west and Northern Cordilleras on the east, was isolated tors passed ACT 2683 defining the present geographical from the rest of Luzon. The inhabitants built their vil- boundary of the province: Taguidin to its south; Quirino lages near the small bays and coves called “looc” in their and Cervantes to its east; Sinair to its north. The whole dialect. The inhabitants were referred to as “Ylokos” which Abra was separated to form another province. means “from the lowlands”. The entire region was then called by the ancient name “Samtoy” from “sao ditoy” Others which in Ylocano meant “out dialect”. The region was Capital: City of Vigan later called by the Spaniards “Ylokos” and its people, “Ilocanos”. Land Area: 2,579.60 sq.km. The abusive practices of the colonizers are chronicled in Boundaries: Ilocos Sur is located along the western coast of the famous Malong’s Revolt (1660-1661), Diego and Northern Luzon. It is bounded by Ilocos Norte in the north, Gabriela Silang’s Uprising (1762-1763), the Basi Revolt Abra in the northeast, Mountain Province in the east, (1807), the Ilocos Revolt (1815) and the Candon Revolu- Benguet in the southeast, La Union in the south and the tion in 1989. China Sea in the west. The Ilocos Province comprised the present provinces of Population: 545,385 Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Abra and a part of Moun- tain Province. The capital is Ciudad Fernandina, now City Registered voters: 291,161 (as of April 12, 2001) of Vigan. Several laws were passed giving birth to new provinces. In 1616, Pangasinan was created, thus parts Major Dialect/s: Iloco www.nscb.gov.ph Source: Department of Interior and Local Government-Region I, 2004138
  • environment watch: karayan abrawww.tourism.gov.ph 139
  • environment watch: karayan abra general profile: mountain province Facts and figures Location and boundaries Capital — Bontoc Mt. Province is situated in Central Cordillera, bounded on the east by the province of Isabela, on the west by the Population — 140,631 province of Ilocos Sur, on the north by the province of Kalinga, and on the souh by the province of Ifugao. On Percentage to the region’s population — 10.3% the northwest is the province of Abra and southwest is the province of Benguet. Land area (square km) — 2,097.3 The province is mountainous, characterized by very steep Population density (person per sq.km) — 67 slopes and deep ravines. Towering peaks and sharp ridges are features of its center and western parts and sloping Number of municipalities — 10 and rolling foothills characterized its eastern towns. Number of barangays — 144 Labor and employment indicators Total population 15 years and over (April 2003) — 91,000 Number of voting precincts — 418 Labor force participation rate (April 2003) — 89.4% Number of registered voters — 81,396 Unemployment rate (April 2003) — 1.9% Number of congressional district — 1 Visible underemployment rate (April 2003) — 4.3% Income class — 4th class Source: NSCB-CAR, April 2003 IRA (2004) — 207,567,750 Income indicators Legal basis of creation — RA 4695 Average annual family income (2000) — P98,369 Date of creation — 06-18-1966 Average annual family expenditure (2000) — P74,292 Source: NSO Survey, 2000 Comelec, April 2004 Annual per capita poverty threshold (2002) — P14,898 Incidence of poor families (proportion of poor families to the total number of families as of 2000) — 49% Source: Department of Interior and Local Government — CAR, 2004140
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  • environment watch: karayan abra photo credits www.nscb.gov.ph www.tourism.gov.ph www.los-indios-bravos.com http://image.guardian.co.uk Alyansa Dagiti Pesante iti Taeng-Kordilyera (APIT-TAKO) Carlos Francisco Community Health Services and Training in the Cordil- lera Region (CHESTCORE) Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) M.L.I. Ingel Northern Dispatch Weekly Roland Romero Save the Abra River Movement Mural - University of the Philippines - Paggawisan Tako Am-in (UP - PAGTA)142
  • environment watch: karayan abra waterWater is a GIFT... Water comes down as rain from heaven, Water flows from high in the mountain, Water runs deep in the Earth in underground aquifers, Water flows in the rivers and gurgles in the streams, Water roars in the mighty oceans. Miraculously, water comes to us, and sustains life. We cannot commercialize water.Water is LIFE... Water is the womb of life. The first one-celled prokaryotes sprung from the ocean, Water surrounded me in my mother’s womb before I saw the sun, Water has the power to ease the burning thirst of humans and all beings, Water give life to the seed and future harvest.Water is SACRED... Water passed over my head at baptism - the symbol of my birth in Christ, Water is mingled with wine - our humanity becomes one with Divinity.Water is DYING... As mine tailings are dumped in its flowing streams, As toxic wastes make our oceans underwater cemeteries devoid of color and life, As mangrove swamps and coral reefs are blasted by dynamites, As Corporate greed poison its pristine freshness. Let us restore to life our dying water.The CALL of WATER is to SACREDNESS... Clear and pristine waters tell the story of events and memories of Life of people. Its intricate pathways bind all creatures together in a mutually enhancing Earth-human relationship Water flows through us, through the earth, then on to the Ocean of Life where We unite efforts to conserve, heal, and love our precious resource. Water flows over these hands - May I use them skillfully to preserve LIFE in our planet. Sister Margarita Jamias, MM Maryknoll Sisters 143
  • environment watch: karayan abra What is the Save the Abra River Movement? The Save the Abra River Movement (STARM) is a broad-based effort to expose and oppose the environmental destruction brought about by corporate mining and other commercial endeavors which trample on the rights and livelihood of peasants and indigenous peoples. It is composed of concerned groups and individuals from different walks of life. It aims to put together the critical mass of condi- tions that would turn the tide for Abra River’s healing and renewal. Our activities have included Ecology Seminars in various universities and churches, community environmental summits, photo exhibits, slide showings, community-based water monitoring and research.144