Sibuyan folk nix mining info drive
CITY OF CALAPAN — Due to mining opposition in Sibuyan Island in Romblon province, an initial process to obtain an environmental compliance certificate (ECC) through an information and education campaign (IEC) was disrupted and stopped in San Fernando town on Friday morning.
A 45-minute video on this was posted on the social media page of Romblon News Network.
“An unidentified environmental consultancy group commissioned by Altai Philippines Mining Corporation (APMC) (for a proposed nickel project) attempted to conduct an IEC as a formal step in the processing of the Project’s ECC.” said environmental group Bayay Sibuyanon Inc. in a statement sent to the Inquirer.
A letter of invitation to different sectors in San Fernando circulated on social media a day before the event.
“Those who will benefit more are those who are rich and those who have less will not, don’t be greedy… and the effect of this on the environment is permanent,” said Viring Rafol Batan, one of the attendees.
After several questions and reactions from participants, APMC consultants decided to stop their activity,
“We will not stop protecting our island, one of the Philippines’ last biodiversity hotspots. Our mountains, rivers and seas are more important than whatever wealth mining can give,” said Sibuyan environmentalist Rodne Galicha, executive director of Living Laudato Si’ Philippines.
The mining operation of APMC was issued cease and desist order in 2011 by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) due to lack of social acceptability.
But MGB lifted it last September 2021 or a month after President Rodrigo Duterte’s issuance of Executive Order 130, which institutionalizes and implements reforms in the Philippine mining industry, said Bayay Sibuyanon.
A security officer of APMC shot to death municipal councilor Armin Rios Marin in 2007.
The company is now controlled by Dynamo Atlantic Ltd., said Bayay Sibuyanon.
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