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Sibuyan Residents Firmly Oppose Mining during Public Scoping

ATM Press Statement | January 19, 2023


Residents of Sibuyan Island registered their firm opposition to mining in a Public Scoping conducted today as part of the requirements of the Philippine Environmental Impact Statement System in relation to the application of Altai Philippines Mining Corporation (APMC) for an Environmental Compliance Certificate.


“Bilang mamamayan ng San Fernando, Romblon, naniniwala kami na ang pagmimina ay hindi naaayon at akma sa isang likas-kayang pag-unlad, sensitibong ekosistema at mga tubig kanlungan ng aming bayan at ng buong isla ng Sibuyan,” said Ana Rollon, a farmer in Barangay Taclobo.


“Tutol kami sa tangkang pagsira ng aming mga kagubatan, katubigan at kabundukan na pinagmumulan ng aming malinis na tubig at hangin, pati ng aming ikinabubuhay,” said Elizabeth Ibañez - Coordinator of Sibuyanons Against Mining (SAM)


Meanwhile, Donato Royo, Kagawad of Españ, which issued a resolution against mining in Sibuyan said: “Aming pinaninindigan ang Saligang Batas na nagtataguyod ng aming karapatan sa malusog at balanseng ekolohiya na naaayon sa ritmo ng kalikasan; pati na rin ang pinagkasunduang karapatan sa malinis, malusog, at sustenableng kapaligiran sa ilalim ng United Nations.”


Ang kalikasan ng Sibuyan mula tuktok ng bundok hanggang sa kailaliman ng karagatan ay bigay ng Maykapal, at tayong lahat ay pawang mga katiwalang naatasang pangalagaan ito upang tugunan ang pangagailangan ng kasalukuyan nang hindi isinasawalang-bahala ang kapakanan ng mga susunod na salinlahi, ” said Rodne Galicha of Living Laudatu Si Philippines.


According to a position paper of the communities opposing the operations of Altai Mining, there are many short and long-term impacts of mining. These include: denudation of the forest and degradation of the ecosystem; high rate of erosion and siltation; weak management of water resources; threatened wetland biodiversity; increasing occurrence and worsening effects of floods and risks from other natural hazards; high incidence of poverty in the mining area

inadequate access to basic social and cultural services; problems arising from lack of rules and regulations and weak enforcement of laws.


Jaybee Garganera, National Coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina, said that authorities “must heed and respect the sentiments of the residents of Sibuyan. There is a strong clamor to protect the natural resources of Sibuyan, known to be the Galapagos of Asia, and the protected area, which is Mt. Guiting-guiting.”


The Sangguniang Bayan of San Fernando, Cajidiocan and Magdiwang in Romblon had already issued a joint resolution on June 2022 “strongly opposing metallic large-scale mining in Sibuyan Island”. They requested President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. and the Philippine Congress to declare Sibuyan island free from large-scale metallic mining. They also called on DENR Secretary Ma. Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga to immediately “review, halt, revoke and reject all mining agreements, operation, and applications within the territorial jurisdiction.” #RepealMiningAct

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