Sen. Raffy Tulfo dares DENR to stop black sand mining
MANILA, Philippines — Stop black sand mining as much of the material is being exported to China, Sen. Raffy Tulfo challenged the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Monday.
“This is destroying our rivers and shorelines. What makes me wonder is why the DENR is not doing anything to stop this?” Tulfo said, speaking partly in Filipino, during the deliberations on the proposed P24.5 billion budget of the department.
The senator noted that black sand mining is rife in several parts of the country, particularly in Zambales, Cagayan, Ilocos, and Mindoro.
Tulfo noted that only the operators and the Chinese government benefit from it.
“This is the modus operandi of the operators. They are the only ones getting revenue out of this and not our country. They are making it appear like they are doing quarrying or dredging. Therefore, all they need is a permit from an LGU [local government unit] for dredging to expand the river. But it’s just a ruse for their black sand mining,” Tulfo said.
“They get a lot of this black sand, and what’s worse is, our fishermen get chased away by the Chinese Coast Guard in the West Philippine Sea. Yet now our minerals and natural resources like black sand are being brought to China,” he added.
Sen. Cynthia Villar, who heads the Senate Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Climate Change, said the DENR had agreed to stop black sand mining.
“The DENR promises that they have made the presence felt and they will stop this black sand mining,” Villar said.
She added that the DENR would also need the assistance of the Department of the Interior and Local Government to implement the order through local governments.