Monday, December 3, 2012

MGB's bosses encourage Black Sand Mining


 Greed, just like what happened to the Aman Futures Group, Inc. investors, is human nature. Fear of death, just like what happened to the five of AMAN personnel who surrendered to the NBI, is also part of human nature.
Some of those who were involved with the AMAN scam have been waylaid by angry swindled members who are military and police officials, and members of prominent Muslim clans in Mindanao. In case Pagadian City Mayor Sammy Co is charged as conspirator of the P12 billion Ponzi scheme that duped 15,000 investors, he will be campaigning for his reelection bid for the May 13, 2013 inside the cold floor of the detention cell in or outside of his city. His case, syndicated estafa (swindling) is a non-bailable offense.
 Rep. Rachel Arenas (3rd District, Pangasinan) was ambivalent about persistent questions from the media, after she graced the alumni homecoming at Daniel Maramba National Highschool in Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan, whether she allows her mom Baby to substitute her in December 21, the deadline imposed by the Comelec for substituting candidates. “That’s the rumor I heard. Why you like her to replace me?” the unopposed lady solon throws a question instead by answering it. I told her that the perception is she will give way to her mom in 2013 as a strategy to break the law limit of three consecutive terms for her to avail the three terms mandated by law in case she wins in the same post in 2016.
In a press forum called by Mines & GeoScience Bureau under Director Carlos Tayag, Engr. Roel A. Collado, OIC, Mine Management Division of the MGB confirmed my query that MGB region-1 encouraged the administration of Mayor Irene Libunao in San Fabian, Pangasinan to pass a resolution in the Sanggunian Bayan (town council) for TGI to start the quarrying cum mining in the silt- thick Cayanga River in Brgy. Bued.
Mayor Libunao and Vice Mayor Leopoldo Manalo of San Fabian told me recently that the mining of magnetite black sand in Cayanga is not detrimental to the environment as it is not done in the sea shore. He said aside from the P400 thousand and P200 thousand the TGI will give monthly to the coffers of Brgy. Cayanga and the town, it will free the town of spending hundreds of thousands of pesos in dredging expenses.
He explained that TGI can get 60 percent of the sand and gravel some of which will be dumped at the banks and the seaside to avoid flood while 30 percent of the quarry that contains the black sand will be processed and sold. Apollo Barredo Bito-on, a mine consultant of Southern Scion based in Zambales, who was one of the attendees of the forum, explained that dredging is very expensive for the local government unit to shoulder. In case a corporation dredges or quarries a river bed for free, it is to earn from the things they get there like black sand and other minerals. “They (miners) are not hypocrite. They signed a pro-bono contract because they want to earn from the black sand. But the good thing there is flash floods would no longer be a threat,” he declared in Filipino.
 He explained that black sand in beach resorts is not good to beach goers. “Maiinit ang bakal ng black sand”. He added that magnetite black sand is acid that could undermine plants. He said the company he represents applied to quarry/mine the river in Cagayan de Oro where some city officials favorably acquiesced. “But the members of the city council was nonchalant thus it did not push through,” he said. As a result, the flash flood that snapped lives and gnawed properties there was a bitter lesson the people there learned.
He said if the city council there allowed them to dredge, the mammoth destruction would have been avoided. Director Tayag said San Fabian rivers are heavily silted that they invite flash floods to the town. He also cited the experience in Cagayan de Oro where island bars (silts) impeded the flood. He also said whoever gets a land title to the island bar in Cayanga his title will be revoked because the bar is a clear and present danger. ***
Manaoag town mayoralty bet Kim Amador talked to us media men about the absence of investors in his town where 60 per cent of revenue depends on the Internal Revenue Allotment.
I met Amador in the necrology of vice mayoralty candidate Aiza dela Cruz Villacorta, my ninang in my wedding and my kababayan who hails from Cotabato City after she married a PMAyer from the pilgrim town. I cited to Amador that the towns of Mangaldan and Sta. Barbara have P145 million and P139 million appropriation, respectively, versus the P100 million of Manaoag this year.
 I told him aside from the intercession of the mayor of Sta. Barbara to chalk up large scale industries like Pop Cola that chose the town for its soft drinks plant, it is already endowed with concrete roads in the far-flung barangays. “Sta Barbara got P23 million from the processing plant of Ginebra San Miguel, and another P8 million from Pop Cola every year,” I told him. Manaoag town , I was told , is pathetic that aside from the absence of big industries, it could not provide potable water system to the villages. “A large chunk of the households in the villages don’t have sanitary comfort room,” Amador said.
 BM Ming Rosario, another bet for the mayoralty, told me there that what Manaoag needs is a lighting system and the improvement of its economic-tourism industry where its Lady of Manaoag Shrine draws tourists all over the country. “After coming from Urdaneta City or San Jacinto town, one would get a jolt of their lives seeing this town in pitch darkness.
It’s because of the lack of vision of the leadership in this town,” he said. A source who asked for anonymity, told me that between Amador and Rosario voters in Manaoag will choose the latter. “Amador has a lot of dreams for Manaoag but Rosario’s generosity to help the sick and indigents plus his vision will make a difference,” he said.. Susmariosep, it’s Juan- the- tightwad versus Ely –the- generous! (You can read my selected thought-provoking columns at and articles at Pangasinan News Aro. You can send comments too at

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