Reprieve for Sibuyan Island residents as mining ops ordered to stop
MANILA, Philippines — After Sibuyan Island residents clashed with police to stop mining efforts, the Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) said that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has ordered the Altai Philippines Mining Company to temporarily suspend their operations.
According to the group, Sibuyan residents, led by environmental defender Rodne Galicha, held a dialogue with officials from the Philippine National Police (PNP), Department of Interior and Local Government, DENR, Altai Philippines Mining Corporation (APMC) representatives, and other local officials.
READ: Sibuyan folk join forces, form human wall to halt mining work
“The company is directed to stop further developing the area and avoid unnecessary activities that would worsen the situation in the area,” said Galicha.
The APMC was slapped with a notice of violation after it allegedly failed to show an Environmental Compliance Certificate; it was also caught cutting trees without a permit, said the ATM.
“The finding of the DENR that the APMC had four violations was borne out of the persistence of the protestors at the barricades and can be considered a win among Sibuyan residents and advocates against destructive mining,” said ATM National Coordinator Jaybee Garganera.
The ATM said that the mining company violated the following rules:
- Presidential Decree No. 1067, Water Code of the Philippines
- DENR Department Administrative Order 2004-24, Foreshore management
- Presidential Decree No. 1586, Environmental Impact Statement System
- Presidential Decree No. 705, Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines
The document posted by the group was received on Friday but released to the media on Saturday.
“The lack of transparency, coordination and respect of national government agencies to the local government units were also discussed. PNP will act on the behavior of the deployed team involved in the series of incidents upon filing of complaints,” said Galicha.
However, Galicha said that the APMC still has an exploration permit and mineral production agreement.
The ATM said that the residents have decided to maintain the human barricade “until the barges and the big ship leave and Altai vacates.”
A total of two people were hurt on Friday as tensions between police officials and protestors flared in Sibuyan Island. The human barricade that protestors have set to block mining trucks was dispersed by police.
INQUIRER.net has reached out to the DENR for an official statement but was told they will respond once they have an update.
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