Sibuyanons barricade pier due to Altai Mining Company’s illegal operations
Press Release | January 29, 2023
Sibuyan residents set up a barricade in front of the pier being constructed by Altai Philippines Mining Company in Sitio Bato España, San Fernando, Romblon to oppose the illegal operations of the mining company, which have not secured the necessary permits and documents for their mining activities. Elizabeth Ibañez, Coordinator of Sibuyanons Against Mining (SAM) and member of the Council of Leaders (COL) of Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), said the illegal activities of the Altai Mining must be immediately investigated. “We demand swift action from the local governments of the province and municipalities, and the pertinent government agencies such as the DENR and BFAR to stop the mining operations of the company and hold them accountable for their illegal activities,” she said. According to Ibañez, the protesters are demanding that the mining company produce the following documents: barangay clearance, municipal business permit, DENR foreshore lease contract, and PPA permit to construct a private port. “As far as we know, Altai Mining Company does not have these documents. What they are doing therefore is illegal. Their activities must immediately stop, especially that the residents of Sibuyan are opposed to any large-scale mining in the region,” she added. Jaybee Garganera, National Coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina, said that “authorities must listen to the clamor of the people of Sibuyan. The demands of the Sibuyan residents should be prioritized over the interests of the mining company, moreso that the latter is violating the regulations and laws on mining.” The Sangguniang Bayan of San Fernando, Cajidiocan and Magdiwang in Romblon issued a joint resolution in 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”.