Repeal the lifting of mining-moratorium in Capiz, DENR urged
Manila, Philippines – The provincial chapter of the fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) in Capiz appealed to Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Gina Lopez to revoke the lifting of mining moratorium in the province under the provincial ordinance passed this year.
On 2002, the province of Capiz through its provincial ordinance declared a moratorium on all large-scale mining operations and processing of all application for mineral agreements for 50 years. But on May this year, through the Provincial Ordinance No. 9, the province has lifted the 50-year mining moratorium which draw outrage from the residents and environmentalist who fought hard to achieve the 50-year mining ban.
Citing the report of PAMALAKAYA-Capiz, the fisherfolk group said the lifting of the mining ban lacks of democratic consultation from the residents who will be directly affected by the menace of large-scale mining operations. Big mining firms immediately line up for application after the lifting. Some mining and exploration firms pending for application are Teresa Marble Corp. and Southern Luzon Explorations which target to explore palladium, silver and magnetite in the province.
“The mining ban was clandestinely lifted without our knowledge and the residents who will be directly affected by the environmental and social havoc that large-scale mining would inflict. This is a betrayal against the people who resisted and until now continue to fight for their right to livelihood and protection of environment,”
“Restoration of large-scale mining activities will kill the livelihood of 90 percent of the population in the province, mostly fisherfolk and farmers,” Jessica Emperwa, PAMALAKAYA Capiz said in a statement.
PAMALAKAYA said coastal-based mining activities like black sand mining will usher widespread displacement, further diminish coastline, reduce fish catch and decrease coastal productivity because large-scale mining activities are inherently destructive and anti-environment.
“We urge Secretary Lopez to order the repeal of the lifting and reject all impending large-scale mining operations in the province which threaten the livelihood and coastal communities of the fisherfolk,” Emperwa said.
Hundreds of fisherfolk and farmers from Visayas led by the survivor alliance People Surge gather in Metro Manila since November for the Lakbayan Laban sa Kagutuman at Militarisasyon sa Kanayunan (Caravan Against Hunger and Militarization in the Countryside).
The Visayas-wide protest caravan aims to raise the persisting crises of hunger, landlessness and militarization before Malacanang Palace and other national offices of government agencies. The caravan will culminate in the big protest action commemorating the International Human Rights Day on December 10. ###