Catholic Church demands permanent halt to illegal mining in Sibuyan
MANILA, Philippines — The Catholic Church’s social action arm wants Romblon’s Sibuyan Island mining to end permanently.
“We call on Altai Philippines Mining Corporation (APMC) and other conglomerates to stop destructive mining,” Caritas Philippines, the social action arm of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, said in a statement on Monday.
“We know what is the right thing to do. Stop mining in Sibuyan,” the organization added.
At APMC’s port last Thursday, protesters voiced their opposition to the mining of nickel ore and other minerals using peaceful means. So the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) put a halt to APMC’s activities. In response to the DENR’s decision, the APMC said that they would voluntarily cease all exploration and testing on the island in support of the demonstrators.
“We feel a moral duty to safeguard and uphold the well-being of our shared environment. Therefore, we believe that the project would not serve the overall interests of the province and would pose a threat, particularly to the lives and lands of the communities on the island, and the rich biodiversity in the area.
“If we persist in damaging our only home, there will be no going back and our children, not just us, will bear the consequences of a degraded environment. Let us not pass on this legacy to future generations,” the organization further said.—Mae Anne Bilolo, INQUIRER.net intern
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