BACOLOD CITY, June 19 (PNA) — Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. of Negros Occidental is not alarmed over the temporary closure of mining operation of company owned by business tycoon Manny V. Pangilinan in Sipalay City.
“It is not a loss,” Marañon said Wednesday despite reports that an estimated hundred workers of Philex Mining Corp. were affected by work stoppage.
Marañon was not also convinced that atrocities caused by New People’s Army forced Pangilinan to freeze their mineral exploration in the area.
“I don’t think that it is all about the NPAs. The ore in the area may not be abundant,” the governor said.
But unlike the governor, Sipalay City Mayor Oscar Montilla was upset of Pangilinan’s decision.
Montilla said he felt bad for the workers affected and the job opportunities that the company can offer if it will go full blast.
He is also worried that Pangilinan will totally pull out his investment in the city and move it in other feasible areas in the region.
Pangilinan announced to temporary stop the operation of the mining firm due to subsequent attacks staged by the New People’s Army against the company.
The recent was on May 3, 2013 when the company’s bunkhouses located in Barangay Nabulao, Sipalay City were burned. Fortunately, none of the firm’s employees were hurt.
“We cannot afford to continue our operations (in Sipalay) knowing that the lives of our employees there are at risk because of NPA atrocities,” Pangilinan said in a press conference at the Shangri-la Hotel in Makati City. The mining site encompasses Barangays Nabulao and Camindangan in Sipalay.
But Pangilinan assured that they will resume their operations once peace and order is established in Sipalay City.