A task force group convened to closely monitor the transport and delivery of fuel/supplies to the Didipio mine site by OceanaGold (Philippines), Inc. (OGPI) which was chaired by Atty. Voltaire B. Garcia, Provincial Legal Officer together with For. Tito A. Tanguilig, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer, on January 15, 2021 at Nueva Vizcaya Livelihood and Pasalubong Center, Brgy. Magsaysay, Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya.
Under Executive Order No. 114 series of 2020 dated December 11, 2020 , Gov. Carlos M. Padilla created the committee composing of Provincial Legal Officer as its Chairman and Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer as its Co-Chairman with a representative each from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), Philippine National Police (PNP), Municipal Local Government Unit (MLGU) of Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya and Barangay Local Government Unit (BLGU) of Barangay Didipio, Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya as its members.
The Didipio Mine has a pumping station that safely removes groundwater. The underground dewatering system requires sufficient diesel reserves and constant power to continue operating. There is a significant risk of environmental damage if the underground mine floods.
Issues and concerns regarding the immediate entry of fuel for the continued operation of dewatering activities of the Didipio Gold-Copper Mine were raised. Furthermore, OGPI should not be allowed to store fuel more than what it actually needs to avoid the conduct of mining operations. Atty. Garcia explained that the body needs to ensure that the authority given to OGPI which is to transport fuel solely for the purpose of water removal as an interim measure for preventing overflow of the mine is properly implemented.
Moreover, Atty. Garcia clarified to everyone the cogent need to discuss further the scheduling of transport of fuel to the Didipio Mine Site. A proper coordination especially to the PNP and barangay officials in Didipio will be necessary for a smooth delivery.#cbr