A GROUP of Indigenous Peoples (IPs) have joined renewed calls to end the Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) in the Upper Marikina River Basin Protected Landscape (UMRBPL) and proposed Geopark of Masungi (MGP).
In a petition dated May 19, 2022, one hundred leaders and members of the Dumagat-Remontado Tribe of Antipolo asked President Duterte, Secretary Responsible for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Jim Sampulna, and Governor of Rizal Rebecca Yñares to save the mountain Susong Dalaga. careers.
They said the mountain is sacred to their community and part of their heritage given its inclusion in their ancestral domain.
“We are concerned to know that our beloved mountain is contained in two quarries with MPSA as Rapid City and Quarry Rock,” they added.
“In such a case, Susong Dalaga will be gone because the rocks will be mined and the mountain will be flattened. The rivers and water supplied by Susong Dalaga will dry up,” they added.
According to the areas covered by the two MPSAs, the quarries would flatten about 1,000 hectares of mountains in the protected area, including the Susong Dalaga shrine considered sacred by the tribe. A deep scar – 400 meters high, 1,200 meters wide and 5,000 meters long – on the mountains immediately facing the Marcos Highway would also be created.
Likewise, the IP group expressed concern that floods and landslides would cause the destruction of their homes and farms, and even create an impact on those living in downstream areas.
It was noted that the floods and landslides that affected San Mateo, Rodriguez, Marikina, Cainta, Pasig and other towns during typhoons “Ondoy”, “Rolly” and “Ulysses” originated from these mountains.
With this in mind, the group urged government officials and quarrying companies to withdraw their mining projects from Susong Dalaga.
They also called for resorts and other destructive activities to also be avoided and removed from the MGP and protected areas.
Image credits: Billie Dumaliang