Romblon bans large-scale mining

ROMBLON—Romblon has banned metallic mining in the province, joining three other provinces that have issued a moratorium on large-scale mining in the Mimaropa region.

Governor Eduardo Firmalo on Monday issued Executive Order No. 1 series of 2011 prohibiting the “exploration, excavation, extraction and utilization of metallic minerals” in Romblon until all issues raised against mining are “genuinely addressed.”

The EO was issued following a series of consultations with municipal and barangay officials, residents of affected barangays, academe, experts and non-government organizations on the impact of mining on health and environment.

“This action is to the best interest of the greater number of our people. I strongly believe that the present and future health and ecological wellbeing of our people are more important to secure rather than the momentary economic benefits derived from mining operations,” Firmalo said.

He said the moratorium was a response to the mounting call for government action on the health and environmental hazards posed by mining activities, particularly on the Island of Sibuyan where illegal mining is rampant.

Environmental groups lauded the ban, saying all the three islands comprising Romblon are biodiversity areas needing protection.

“Romblon is a province composed of islands which are endowed with rich natural resources and biodiversity and this issuance will definitely be one of the milestones for its protection and conservation,” said Jaybee Garganera, national coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina.

“Mining as we know is a disputed economic activity that not only paves way for the destruction of the islands, but also puts the inhabitants of the islands at risk in the face of disasters such as floods and landslides” Garganera said.

Blas Tabaranza, chief operating officer of Haribon Foundation said that the moratorium “s a welcome measure to protect not only its people’s unique treasure but also their very future. “

“Biodiversity in the Romblon province is so rich that all its three islands host important biodiversity areas: the entire Romblon island, Balogo Watershed in Tablas island, and Mt. Guiting-guiting Natural Park in Sibuyan island,” Tabaranza said.

“Subspecies of the colasisi or Philippine hanging parrot, the Philippine pygmy-woodpecker, and the orange-bellied flowerpecker, plus five mammals and 54 plants, are endemic or can only be found in Sibuyan, which has often been called the Galapagos of Asia,” he said.

Romblon is one of the provinces in the country that issued a moratorium on large-scale mining. Both Oriental and Occidental Mindoro have issued a 25-year mining ban. Marinduque and Samar are also among the provinces with moratorium orders.

In September last year, the municipal councils of Magdiwang, Cajidiocan and San Fernando on Sibuyan Island signed joint memorandums prohibiting and opposing mining exploration and activities there. Meanwhile, the Barangay Council of Pato-o in the Municipality of Odiongan in Tablas Island also issued a resolution against mining.

2 thoughts on “Romblon bans large-scale mining

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s