QUEZON, Nueva Vizcaya, March 9 (PIA) – A mining firm's environmental protection program here has provided additional income among indigent villagers.
FCF Minerals Corporation's Mining Forest Project (MFP) which was introduced in 2007 among the villagers has now expanded with 163.66 hectares of idle lands reforested, giving additional income for at least 35 families in barangay Runruno alone where the mining company operates the gold-molybdenum project.
Through the MFP, families living within the areas covered were tapped to maintain the plantation areas and harvest fruits from the trees planted to augment their family income.
Tomas Guzman, 57 of sitio Kinalabasa, has been harvesting rambutan, longgan and lansones through his 1.5 hectare integrated reforestation project and sold in the nearby town of Solano.
Other fruit trees such as Pomelo, Durian, Mangosteen, Coffee, Cacao and Lychee also thrive in other MFP lots.
“We now have source of additional income for my family while we serve as guardians of fruit trees managed by the mining company,” he said.
Other MFP areas are also planted with forest tree specie such as GMelina, Mahogany, Benguet Pine, Narra, Mangium, Ipil-ipil, Balobo, Talisai and Rain tree.
MFP was required by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) through Administrative Order No. 22 series of 1989 which seeks to implement slope stabilization, rehabilitation and development of abandoned cultivated areas, grass land and brushlands and to establish forest and erosion preventive and control measures by employing strategies adaptive to existing environmental and social condition of the affected areas.
FCF Minerals Corporation’s MFP is constantly visited and validated by officials of DENR’s Mines and Geo-sciences Bureau (MGB) to check their compliance on the national criteria and rating system of the agency’s MFP National Executive Committee.
MGB regional director for Cagayan Valley Mario Ancheta said the mining firm’s MFP has been reaping awards such as First Runner-up for Best Mining Program for the year 2012,2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008.
It grabbed the top rank in 2013 as Mining Forest Program.
Last year, it was included in the 23 shortlisted entries for the 2016 Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Award (PMIEA) for Best MFP. ALM/BME/PIA 2-Nueva Vizcaya)