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Apr 24, 2018

Concession Holders Will Make Big Money; Villagers Want In

Beatrice Mariano

A total of ten applications have been received – five from Barranco residents and five from persons outside the village. Apart from the disallowed concession application of Colon and Rash, there is no indication that any of the other applications are for overlapped areas. The size of the logged area is especially huge – eight thousand acres among the concessions. And there are no plans, according to the villagers, to re-forest, which they have asked for under the terms of the 2017 agreement. But though it seems they have a lousy hand, the villagers say the government hasn’t seen the last of them.

 

Aaron Humes

“[Are] the areas which the Barranco residents are logging, apart from those who have been rejected basically; would those overlap with any of the others?”

 

Beatrice Mariano, Vice-Chair, Barranco Village Council

“No, because when the applications are tabled for consideration, the area is GPS, so you would know who has been in an area before; that is part of the assessment.  To my knowledge, no logger has ever re-forested; none. So we’re just having this rape of everything and the land is just left bare. And when a resident – that’s another area we are going to look into, because our land is up for grabs -  but if you are to go and farm those lands, you would have to invest a lot to get the land ready for farming, after all these heavy equipment has damaged the top soil. So there is basically rubbish left for you to work with.”

 

Reporter

“So basically they are raping your village and you have to accept that?”

 

Beatrice Mariano

“It seems that way.”

 

Fabian Cayetano, Barranco Village Resident

“No, we are not accepting; hence the move, the actions we are taking.”

 

Beatrice Mariano

“And we intend to do much more, because that is our land, it is our indigenous right, and they should have consulted with us.”

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