DENR urged to cancel mining contracts in Romblon and Palawan
MANILA, Philippines — Environmental groups marched on Tuesday towards the Department of Environment and Natural Resource (DENR) calling for the revocation of mining contracts in Romblon and Palawan, Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) said on Tuesday.
Members bore placards with messages like “Likas Yaman, Ipamana Huwag Ipamina; Yamang Bayan, Protektahan Huwag Nakawan” [Don’t mine natural resources; national treasures must be protected, not stolen] as they marched to DENR office in Quezon City.
The groups urged DENR Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga to cancel the mineral production sharing agreement with Altai Philippines Mining Corp. on Sibuyan Island in Romblon and Ipilan Nickel Corp. at Brooke’s Point in Palawan, Jaybee Garganera, ATM national coordinator, said in a statement.
The residents of Sibuyan Island in Romblon and Brooke’s Point of Palawan had set up barricades to protest mining in their areas.
According to the group, the ATM submitted a letter to Yulo-Loyzaga urging a probe into the contracts.
“Review current mining contracts and assess the implementation of mining projects in different parts of the country through a mining audit,” Garganera said.
The ATM was joined by other groups, with others providing statements of solidarity.
“It is our duty to be stewards of creation, which has been continuously exploited because of greed. We will stand in unity with the earth and the poor in a way that ecological balance is maintained and protected,” said Fr. Bong Magbata of the Diocese of Romblon.
Brooke’s Point Councilor Vic Colili said “the destruction brought about by mining makes communities more vulnerable to climate risks. What is needed now is effective disaster risk management and not more destructive mining activities.”
The groups also protested against seabed quarrying operations in Cavite for one of Manila Bay’s reclamation projects.