Benguet Corp. (PSE: BC) provided medical assistance, as well as conducted rescue operations Sunday, 16 September 2018, to victims of landslide in Ucab, Itogon, Benguet in the wake of Super Typhoon Ompong. The persons affected are mostly small-scale miners who have been illegally operating in its Antamok claims. Their unregulated mining activities are without permission of the company.
BC suspended its mining operations in the area in the late 1990s and was studying new technologies for mining low-grade ores. During the period of suspension, the Antamok mines was gradually encroached by small-scale miners.
Subsequent warnings and notices from the company for the small-scale miners to vacate the area were met with resistance and outright refusal. BC issued notices to the small-scale miners who have occupied the old bunkhouses or put up shanties that the area has been declared as geohazard by the MGB and is unsafe for habitation.
As of press time, BC personnel, in coordination with the LGU, the MGB-CAR, and others are currently taking care of the affected small-scale miners and their families who have been evacuated in its staff house while it is helping in the search, rescue, and retrieval operations in the landslide area.