Part of bamboo plantation in Mine Tailings Dam No. 1 of Philex Mining Corporation in Pacdal, Tuba, Benguet

Through a research undertaking by the then Ecosystems Research and Development Service (ERDS), DENR-CAR now the Watershed and Water Resources Research Development and Extension Center (WWRRDEC) of ERDB, a bamboo plantation was developed to rehabilitate the Mine Tailings Dam No. 1 of the Philex Mining Corporation (PMC) in Pacdal, Tuba, Benguet.  The established bamboo plantation with some associated naturally growing Antsoan dilau (Senna spectabilis) and alnus (Alnus maritima) trees have now been turned into a potential ecotourism site.  Cool atmosphere can be felt underneath the bamboos that makes the area conducive for relaxation.  Accordingly, Victor Ma. A. Francisco, Vice President for Environment and Community Relations of PMC had boosted to DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu the present condition of the Tailing Dam No. 1 that is covered with robust bamboos.  He added that the area can be enhanced for ecotourism purposes.  The species planted were kauayan tinik (Bambusa blumeana), bayog (Bambusa blumeana var. luzonensis) and giant bamboo (Dendrocalamus asper).

For the plantation to become an ecotourism site, WWRRDEC had recommended continuous maintenance and protection of the site and enhancement of the carabao grass (Paspalum conjugatum) that carpeted the soil to foster a greater appreciation and to suit with other recreational activities in the area.

The rehabilitation of the said tailings pond was conducted from 1999 – 2003 under the Leadership of Forester Fatima T. Tangan, one of the Supervising Science Research Specialists of ERDS, DENR-CAR.  The potentials of bamboo for rehabilitation and for landscaping of marginal lands have been proven in many cases including this scenario.  Rhandy S. Tubal, WWRRDEC