Saturday, September 17, 2011

New Beginning

I and my family visited Tacurong City in the province of Sultan Kudarat a few hours ago. We are happy to note that the old municipal building has begun its repair and reconstruction. Signage on the roof reads a budget of close to a million pesos has been allotted for the building's rehab and improvement. The building is set to house the city's public library and museum, among other local offices.

The people of Tacurong cap their weeklong celebration of the city's 11th anniversary tomorrow, September 18, 2011, with the Talakudong Festival street dance and other festivities.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


The Sagittarius Mines Incorporated (SMI) holds its final mine design disclosure and consultations with communities and stakeholders within and around its Tampakan Copper-Gold Project, prior to its application for an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC). Photo was taken the other day in the town of Tampakan in South Cotabato which will co-host the mining project along with Kiblawan in Davao del Sur and Columbio in Sultan Kudarat.

SMI is mostly owned by Xstrata, one of the largest and leading mining companies worldwide. It aims to dig up, primarily by open-pit method, what is described as the largest undeveloped copper and gold deposit in the Southeast Asia-Pacific region. It plans to begin construction by 2012 and commence full operations by 2016.

The Philippine national government, backed by the Philippine Mining Act of 1995, has continuously expressed openness to large-scale mining investments such as that of SMI-Xstrata. However, various civil society groups, led by the Catholic Church, have strongly opposed large-scale mining investments and have recently obtained backing from the South Cotabato provincial government when the latter passed a local law banning open-pit mining in the entire province.