Itogon stops Philex Mine’s constructions
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet –- The municipality of Itogon ordered a halt in the construction of eight structures by the Philex Mining Corporation.
Notices of illegal construction were issued by Municipal Engineer Charlie Gayaso for illegally repairing bunk houses at the Eastern Saddle in Ampucao; illegal construction of oil separators near the Bomolo tunnel and vehicular bridge; illegal construction of a conveyor belt, mill building field office, a penstock at dam 3; installation of piping systems for a tailing dam 2 and 3; and excavation spillways at dams 2 and 3 all in Ampucao.
Itogon Mayor Oscar Camantiles signed the notices of illegal construction along with Gayoso.
The order was released last month detailing all the eight structures have violated the national building code and advised Libby Ricafort, resident manager of Philex, to “immediately stop all illegal structures and activities in their premises.”
Gayoso likewise ordered Philex to contact the municipality when receipt of the notice was given as well as submit the necessary documents.
The mining company and the municipality have been at odds for months over accumulated business taxes that were unpaid since 2002.
Camantiles has repeatedly asked Philex Mining Corporation to pay accumulated business taxes since 2002 and the company has since refused to pay citing a resolution of land disputes as a requisite for payments.
The municipality has accounted for P542,277,452.94 in payments due which Philex is likewise contesting pending a reassessment.
The notices of illegal construction were given after a series of demand letters to the mining company to pay the taxes in question.
Sun.Star Baguio tried to get the side of the Philex Mining Corporation but as of press time, a statement from their legal counsel is still pending.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on July 17, 2012.