Mining company PDEP Inc. has stopped its exploration of copper at Mt. Bantug in Brgy. Lag-it, Tayasan, Negros Oriental, that had, for five years, sparked development of the hinterland barangay and neighboring areas.
1Lt. Von Ryan Gomez, 11th Infantry Battalion Civil Military Operations officer, yesterday said the Mt. Bantug mining exploration, that started in 2006, not only brought additional income to the populace, but also livelihood programs and construction of farm to market roads.
However, the company failed to reach its expectations after five years of drilling s, and this made them decide to withdraw the exploration project, Gomez said.
Lt. Col. Wilfredo Isaac, 11th Infantry Battalion, who attended a dialog between local officials of Tayasan, representatives of PDEP Inc. and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources on Aug. 3 in Brgy. Lag-it, Tayasan, however, said in a statement, that the Army’s Bayanihan Teams deployed in the town’s hinterland barangays will continue to facilitate, bridge the populace to the government and address the peace and order in the community, and spur the economy.
The discussion at the meeting focused on steps to be taken after the termination of the mining exploration activities, with PDEP Inc. that had already invested economic development, employment and livelihood opportunities in Brgys. Lag-it, Guincalaban and Tanlad, all in Tayasan, Negros Oriental.
The NPA Leonardo Panaligan Command operates in the hinterland barangays of central Negros, that include Tayasan, as well as in the 5th district of Negros Occidental.
Leonardo Sobang, PDEP project manager, suggested that the exploration site be enhanced for the National Greening Program of the government, raising of 1,000 ducks to be distributed to the people, continuing the industry and for the local government of Tayasan to ask the provincial government of Negros Oriental to continue the mining exploration, since the site is rich in silica.
Sobang also thanked the 11th Infantry Battalion Bayanihan Teams who helped maintain peace and order in the area.
Tayasan Mayor Susano Ruperto Jr. said he will continue the livelihood projects started by PDEP Inc. to maintain the economic development of the town’s hinterland barangays.*GPB
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