QUEZON, Nueva Vizcaya—A mining firm’s environmental protection program of a mining firm here has provided additional income among indigent villagers.
FCF Minerals Corp.’s Mining Forest Project, introduced in 2007, has now expanded with 163.66 hectares of idle lands reforested, giving additional income for at least 35 families in barangay Runruno, where the company operates the gold-molybdenum mine.
Through the MFP, families living within the areas covered were tapped to maintain the plantation areas and harvest fruits from the trees to augment their income.
Tomas Guzman, 57, of Sitio Kinalabasa, has been harvesting rambutan, longgan and lansones through his 1.5-hectare integrated reforestation project, selling the fruits 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,” Guzman said.
Other MFP areas are also planted with forest tree species such as GMelina, Mahogany, Benguet Pine, Narra, Mangium, Ipil-ipil, Balobo, Talisai and Raintree.
MFP was required by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources through Administrative Order No. 22 series of 1989. Reforesting seeks to aid in slope stabilization, rehabilitation and development of abandoned cultivated areas, grassland and brush lands, 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’s MFP is constantly visited and validated by officials of DENR’s Mines and Geosciences Bureau 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 firm’s MFP has been reaping awards such as First Runner-up for Best Mining Program for the years 2008 to 2012. It grabbed the top Mining Forest Program rank in 2013.
Last year, it was included in the 23 shortlisted entries for the 2016 Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Award for Best MFP.