Gov't eyes Boracay-type rehab in typhoon-hit Cordillera

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 19 2018 11:05 AM | Updated as of Sep 19 2018 11:37 AM

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MANILA - Rehabilitation of landslide-hit areas in the Cordillera region may follow the Boracay model, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Wednesday.

Roque said the order to halt small-scale mining in Cordillera will leave over 12,000 individuals without a source of income, a similar situation they encountered in rehabilitating Boracay Island.

"Kung ano ang naging tugon ng gobyerno, kung paano po tayo gumalaw sa Boracay, ganoon din tayo ngayon diyan sa Cordillera," he told DZMM.

"Ang pagkakaiba nga lang sa Boracay, alam natin na 6 na buwan lang ang pagsasar. Dito di tayo sigurado kung kailan magkakaroon uli ng order na puwede na magmina," he added.

Roque said the government will provide cash-for-work programs to the residents hit by the calamity, and all other agencies concerned will provide alternative livelihood to them.

The Palace official also said mining companies, particularly in Itogon where dozens have been killed in landslides, will have to answer questions on their possible liabilities.

He added that based on their experience with the mining sites in Mt. Diwalwal, small-scale miners in the Cordilleras may be backed by big firms.

"Ang alam ko ang produksiyon sa area ng Itogon, hindi small-scale mining. Parang hindi totoo na small scale mining 'yan. Large-scale po 'yan disguised as small-scale mining," he said.

Heavy rains dumped by the combined southwest monsoon and typhoon Ompong triggered landslides in different parts of the Cordilleras, burying dozens of residents alive.

Local officials blamed small-scale mining for the landslides, prompting the DENR to temporarily halt all small-scale mining activities in the region.