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“River Dredging” in Zambales may actually be offshore mining and seabed quarrying – ATM

ATM Statement | March 19, 2024

Alyansa Tigil Mina raised concerns today that the suspended dredging activities of Chinese vessels in San Felipe, Zambales may actually be offshore mining and seabed quarrying.

Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator, said “We suspect that in the guise of dredging activities, what is actually happening in Zambales is offshore mining and seabed quarrying. This means that the Chinese vessels are extracting minerals and deposits in the seafloor as well as quarry resources in offshore areas. They are just calling it dredging instead of offshore mining or seabed quarrying.”

Garganera lauded the efforts of San Felipe residents and the local group Zambales Ecological Network (ZEN) who raised this issue and exerted pressure on local officials and government agencies to act on their complaints against the activities of the Chinese dredging companies.

Garganera also said they support the move in the Senate to investigate the so-called dredging activities in San Felipe, Zambales. “The DENR must likewise conduct its own investigation and cancel any permit that may have been issued related to the dredging activities,” he said.

“Offshore mining and seabed quarrying have harmful environmental consequences that adversely affect the marine ecosystem and the communities near the area. There are risks involved in disturbing the seafloor and organisms under water. Already, many fishermen report a decline in their fish catch,” Garganera said.

“Before any irreversible destruction happens, the dredging in Zambales must be permanently stopped,” Garganera said. “We call on the PBBM administration to conduct a comprehensive and integrative assessment of how offshore mining and seabed quarrying will affect the ecosystems and surrounding communities. Without this, there is no basis for allowing any offshore mining or seabed quarrying in Zambales, or any other place in the Philippines.”


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