Quantcast
Latest Stories

Activists throw mud at Aquino, Paje, Pangilinan tarpaulins to protest Philex operations

By

MANILA, Philippines – Environmental activists picketed the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Quezon City on Thursday in protest against its order permitting Philex Mining Corp. to resume operations in its Padcal facility.

About a dozen protesters belonging to the Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment threw mud at tarpaulins with the faces of President Benigno Aquino III, Environment Secretary Ramon Paje, and Philex chair Manuel V. Pangilinan.

The demonstrators voiced their objections to the four-month MGB permit allowing Philex, whose tailings pond facility leaked 20 million metric tons of sediments in Benguet last year, to resume operations as an “urgent remediation” measure.

MGB gave Philex four months to operate in order to remove the water inside its damaged Tailings Storage Facility No. 3 (TSF3). The agency said a total of 3.5 million metric tons of fresh mine tailings were needed to fill up and remove the water in the dam.

“The decision of MGB is condemnable. Philex operation will put the lives of mine workers and communities in grave danger,” Clemente Bautista, national coordinator of Kalikasan, said in a statement.

“The degraded environment in Benguet will be further devastated. Based on the MGB permit, the damaged tailings dam of Philex will be used again. This is totally unsafe and dangerous,” he said.

Engineer Vergel Aniceto of KATRIBU partylist said the Philex tailings dam was already “structurally compromised and should not be used again for mining operation.”

“The dam has reached its life span of 20 years. Before its collapse, it was overloaded with more than four million metric tons of mine wastes. It was supposedly decommissioned in 2012 yet Philex opted to extend the use of the dam, which resulted in its failure and several mine spills,” he said.

“The tailings dam is dangerous and should never be used again,” Aniceto said.

Philex constructed the TSF3 in 1992 after the dam failure of its TSF2.

In August, following heavy downpours caused by back-to-back storms, the tailings dam failed, causing 20 million metric tons of mine wastes to leak into river systems in the province.

As a result, the company was fined more than P1 billion.

“We cannot comprehend how an environmental bureau sees it safe to operate a compromised mining structure and trust. MGB’s excuse that the operation of Philex is needed to rehabilitate the tailing dam is pure hogwash,” Bautista said.

He said there were technologies available that would allow Philex to decommission the tailings dam without resuming its mining operations.

“This decision is a precursor for the full operation of Philex using TSF3 which will eventually subject our communities and environment to great disasters,” Bautista said.

“Instead of creating more toxic mine wastes to ‘rehabilitate’ the tailings dam the better option is to pump out the remaining water in the dam, fix the structural problem of the dam, then refill the dam with the more than 100 million metric tons tailings deposit in their storage facility,” Aniceto said.

“If they want to operate, Philex should construct a new tailings dam which is structurally stable and designed to withstand super typhoons and strong earthquakes,” he added.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Department of Environment and Natural Resources , Mine , Mines and Geosciences Bureau , mining issues , mining pollution , Nation , News , Philex




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  2. Gigi Reyes back to face charges
  3. SC suspends proctor in 2011 bar exams
  4. What Went Before: Enrile denies Gigi Reyes was ‘other woman’
  5. In the know: Gigi Reyes
  6. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  7. At 77, Erap has Easter treat for Manila cops but keeps City Hall folk in agony
  8. Solons seek ample protection for bank depositors
  9. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  10. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  7. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  10. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  8. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  9. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
Advertisement

News

  • ‘I’ll make it,’ says young ferry passenger to family
  • Bad weather halts rescue after deadliest Everest disaster
  • Gigi Reyes has no other option but to turn state witness — Santiago
  • US weighing military exercises in Eastern Europe
  • Rains loom in Surigao as LPA nears
  • Sports

  • Nick Calathes suspension a reminder of supplement risk
  • Teague scores 28 as Hawks soar past Pacers in Game 1
  • Warriors beat Clippers in playoff opener
  • Pacquiao top Mayweather contender
  • Rain or Shine, Ginebra clash for No. 6 spot
  • Lifestyle

  • Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  • Simplifying and lightening life
  • Where to go for Easter night-out
  • Joe de Venecia visits the Queen Mother of Cambodia
  • Fashionistas flock to designer’s wedding
  • Entertainment

  • Show-biz celebrities’ other choices of summer getaway
  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Business

  • Top-selling insurance agent opens her dream café
  • Connecting and transacting with one another
  • Building wealth for health
  • Why Mandaue Foam buys, rather than rents, space
  • A workplace of new possibilities
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats
  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Filipinos in US poised for success
  • Visas for priests and other faith leaders
  • DOH to continue tracking co-passengers of OFW infected with MERS virus
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement