BENGUET, Philippines — Villagers of Antamok in Itogon fear displacement by a proposed engineered sanitary landfill for Baguio City that will be st up in a former open pit mining site in the town.
Itogon Mayor Victorio Palangdan is opposed to the project, even as mining giant Benguet Corporation has agreed to give Baguio City free use of its 24.1-hectare property. He said “people will be displaced because the proposed area is thickly populated”.
The area used to be an open pit mining site that villagers build their homes around when BC stopped its open pit mining operations in the early 1990s.
Palangdan said the people of Itogon and its town council are against the project.
Itogon officials led by Mayor Palangdan will meet this week with Baguio City officials led by Mayor Mauricio Domogan and BC on the recent development.
Baguio City eyes the ESL as its permanent solution to the disposal of around 200 tons of garbage that it produces daily.
The city has been hauling waste to . The trash is then brought to the Urdaneta Sanitary Landfill in Pangasinan.
Mayor Palangdan instead urged BC to return the 24.1 hectares to the national government so it can be utilized as a “Minahang Bayan”, or People’s Small-Scale Mining Area.
BC had earlier expressed its opposition to a request by small-scale miners to use the area, insisting it is the mining giant’s patented claim.
Palangdan, a lawyer said, “it is the property of our national government because, from the start, they got the title of that land because of their mining operation. It should now be reverted back to the state to become a public land.”
BC had been mining in Itogon since the 1930s.