Susong Dalaga Mountain CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
A Dumagat-Remontado indigenous community has joined growing calls to rescind Mineral Production Sharing Agreements (MPSAs) inside the Upper Marikina River Basin Protected Landscape and Masungi Geopark Project (MGP) .
One hundred leaders and members of the Dumagat-Remontado of Antipolo issued a petition on May 19, 2022 asking President Rodrigo Duterte, OIC Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Jim Sampulna and Governor of Rizal Rebecca Ynares to save the Susong Dalaga mountain from quarrying. They said Susong Dalaga Mountain is sacred to their community and part of their heritage. It is also included in their ancestral domain.
Based on the areas covered by the two MPSAs, the quarries would level approximately 1,000 hectares of mountains within the protected area, including the Susong Dalaga Shrine sacred to Indigenous Peoples (IPs). A deep scar, 400 meters (m) high, 1,200 m wide and 5,000 m long, on the mountains immediately facing the Marcos Highway, would be created.
The tribe also worried about floods and landslides that would destroy their homes and farms and even affect those living in areas downstream.
The floods and landslides that ravaged San Mateo, Rodriguez, Marikina, Cainta, Pasig and other towns during typhoons “Ondoy”, “Rolly” and “Ulysses” started from these mountains.
Thus, the group has urged government officials and relevant quarrying companies to withdraw their mining projects from Susong Dalaga. They also demanded that resorts and other destructive activities also be stopped and removed from the MGP and protected area.
The same tribe earlier expressed their desire to conserve the area with partners such as the award-winning Masungi Georeserve Foundation.