Mine company to provide 1M for livelihood project in Ampucao, Itogon

ITOGON, Benguet – The Philex Mining Corporation will provide P1 million in seed capital for a hog-raising project using a state-of-the-art technology to its host community.

Recipients of the P1M seed capital are 67 families living in sitios Sta. Fe and Quarry in Barangay Ampucao in Itogon, Benguet. But the amount will be released upon submission of detailed project proposal and covered by a memorandum of agreement.

Philex Mining Corporation Senior Vice President and Resident Manager of the Benguet Padcal Operations Manny Agcaoili said they will partner with the Sta. Fe and Quarry Livelihood Association (SQuaLA) for the project that does away with water in keeping the pigpens clean.

The technology requires at least a 1.5-square-meter space for each pig and a 2- to 3-foot deep of organic materials such as coconut husk or newly milled rice hull as bedding on the soil flooring of the pigpen.

The project was hatched following a series of consultations between Philex Mining, the two sitios and Ampucao barangay chairman Eddie Amuasen.

Just recently, 15 officers and members of SQuaLA representing the 67 households, and some mine employees visited the Lily of the Valley Organic Farm, in La Trinidad, Benguet to witness and learn the Korean technology on organic farming and hog-raising.

During the familiarization tour, farm owner and organic-farming specialist, Jefferson Laruan, said the secret to the process he uses to raise hogs in an odorless environment is to mix wood vinegar called mokusaku, into the pigs’ drinking water. The mokusaku, he explained, “deodorizes” a pig’s wastes. It is also sprayed around the pigpens to counter any foul smell.

Laruan shared that the pigs he raises which are Hampshire and native breed, are fed with the leaves of organic vegetables grown in the farm and mixed with organic feeds. The farm has broccoli, sweet peas, Baguio beans, French beans, cauliflower, cherry tomato, red and green cabbage, sweet potato, cucumber, spinach, lettuce, leek, lemon, watercress, sugar beet, and kale, among other vegetables. It also has herbs like Swiss chard, mint, basil, tarragon, and rosemary.

“We are excited about this project as it also suits our location. So we will draw up our formal proposal for Philex Mining at the soonest time possible,” SQuaLa President Abel Magamba said. (JDP/RMC- PIA CAR)


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