Monday, October 10, 2011

A Chronologue on "No to Mining" in Marinduque

On December 6, 2003, ten years after the Maguila-guila earth dam collapsed during a typhoon with heavy rains that virtually killed the Mogpog river, a rally was held in Mogpog town to oppose any future large-scale mining anywhere in the island-province and to continue seeking justice for the people affected by that tragedy.

That rally was spearheaded by the Church-based org, Marinduque Council for Environmental Concerns (MACEC), specifically calling for a 25-year mining moratorium in the entire province.

After nearly two years, on October 26, 2005, MACEC issued Resolution No. 2005-09, ‘strongly reiterating the earnest request of the Marinduque Council for Environmental Concerns for the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Marinduque to declare a 25-year mining moratorium in the entire province”.


Most Rev. Bishop Reynaldo G. Evangelista, Bishop of Boac

MACEC cited among others “the Church and Local Legislators Roundtable Discussion on Mining initiated by MACEC on March 15, 2005 (that) consolidated the stance of various entities opposing the reopening of mining operation in the province..”

Such stance, expressed through Resolutions from Sangguniang Bayans of Boac, Buenavista, Gasan, Mogpog and Torrijos, a Resolution from the Councilors’ League of the Philippines, Marinduque Chapter and a Pastoral Letter from Bishop Reynaldo G. Evangelista, Bishop of Boac, vehemently opposed the re-entry of mining companies in the province.

A part of Mogpog river

MACEC also recognized “the massive destruction of the province’s once pristine biodiversity and ecosystems, river systems, seas, forests and agricultural fields, aside from immense impacts to the health, livelihood and economy of marginalized Marinduqueños wrought by the almost 30 years of mining operation in the province and the ironic stagnation of the entire province’s economic status which places it as one of the poorest provinces in the country (4th Class Province).”

Two days later, on October 28, 2005, the 10th Sangguniang Panlalawigan ng Marinduque (under the Reyes administration), adopted a Resolution declaring not a “25-year mining moratorium”, but a “50-Year Large Scale Mining Moratorium in the Province of Marinduque”.

From large scale to 'small-scale'

But by September 2006, we find MACEC expressing alarm with the "proliferation of mining companies in the island-province..which pose as "small-scale" players in the mining industry." It also cited that two mining companies held public consultation in Brgy. Bocboc, Mogpog with an offer of "various economic opportunities to the people if they will be allowed to operate a "small-scale iron mining project".

The mining companies named were Asian Iron Ore Corporation and Archean Mining Corporation, represented by Noel Mirabel and Isabelo Payongngayong.

MACEC Executive Director, Myke Magalang

MACEC's executive director Myke Magalang then called on all other environmental groups, anti-mining advocates and other advocacy groups “to document and expose other ‘pseudo small-scale’ mining permit applications in order to alert the people, expose to the media and effectively wage an all-out lobbying and monitoring activities in the Provincial Mining Regulatory Boards and regional offices of DENR’s Environmental Management Bureaus which process the ECCs."

Two months later, on November 10, 2006, we find on record that applications for Small-Scale Mining Permits were filed by proponents, Noel Mirabel and Isabelo Payongngayong with the Provincial Mining Regulatory Board which, record shows "was deliberated...and was favorably recommended for approval as per PMRB Resolution No. 2007-001."

The same applications, it turned out, were endorsed by the Municipal Government of Mogpog (under Mayor Jonathan Garcia), through SB Resolution No. 157-2006, as well as separate resolutions from the Sangguniang Barangays of Brgys. Bocboc and Puting Buhangin. Nevertheless, with MACEC pressure and strong opposition to mining activities, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan ng Marinduque, adopted Resolution No. 710-2006 "requesting the Provincial Mining Regulatory Board to hold in abeyance the processing of the small-scale mining applications of Mirabel and Payongayong for iron ore extraction in Mogpog...as indorsed by SB Resolutin No. 157-2006 of the Sangguniang Bayan of Mogpog".

It would later surface from available data that on February 7, 2007, Small-Scale Iron Ore Mining of Poly Mining Group Development Corporation (Isabelo V. Payongngayong) has been issued an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) No. 45-007-MA-2160-2007 by the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources MIMAROPA Region. (See photo of this extremely curious billboard posted in Brgy. Bocboc. Said billboard names a new mining company).

'Small Scale Mining' refers to mining activities which rely heavily on manual labor using simple implements and methods and do not use explosives and heavy mining equipments (R.A. 7076, Sect. 4.25)

These things were occurring during the watch of former Congressman Edmund Reyes and Governor Carmencita Reyes who held their respective positions without interruption from July 1998-June 2007). In May 2007 Governor Reyes in a letter to DENR Regon IV-B executive director Rolando de Jesus and concurrent chair of PMRB, requested to "refrain from allowing mining activities including small scale mining except for gravel and sand extraction, until our case against Marcopper/Placer Dome/Barrick has been resolved".

Under the term of Governor Carrion (July 2007-June 2010), the declaration of a 50-Year Large Scale Mining Moratorium in the province was reiterated by the 11th Sangguniang Panlalawigan through SP Resolution No. 25 s. 2007, which was "strongly supported by the environment advocates in the province, such as the Marinduque Council for Environmental Concerns". It was during this time when MACEC was accredited by the provincial government as official NGO representative to the Regional Development Council (IVB MIMAROPA).

It took two years for the PMRB under the Carrion administration to act on the pending mining applications in question that have been evaluated and considered by the previous board.

PMRB Resolution No. 03-09 of Sept. 29, 2009 was titled "A Resolution reiterating favorable consideration on PMRB Resolution No. 2007-01 Re: A “Resolution endorsing the application of Mr. Noel Mirabel and Mr. Isabelo Payongngayong for small-scale Mining (SSMP) Permit to extract iron ore in Barangay Bocboc and Puting Buhangin, Municipaiity of Mogpog, Marinduque, respectively”.

"Whereas, application for Small-Scale Mining Permits were filed by the proponents, Noel Mirambil and Isabelo Payongngayong with the Provincial Mining Regulatory Board on November 10, 2006 which was deliberated by the previous Board and was favorably recommended for approval as per PMRB Resolution No. 2007-01", it said.

More questions appear to have been raised by this listing of applications for Exploration Permit from DENR-IVB (MIMAROPA)that shows Poly Mining Group Dev. Corp (Tenement ID No. 00430IV) filed application No. 310 on 2/5/10 for Mogpog, Marinduque for an area of 1,705.5580 hectares for iron ore, copper, manganese, etc. with operator/previous holder named as Malayan Metal Mining Devt. Corp. with status as "published".

With the assumption into office of the members of the 12th Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Marinduque, a new Resolution "Reiterating the Declaration of a Fifty (50) Year Large Scale Mining Moratorium in the Province of Marinduque" was adopted on July 20, 2010. Also in the same year the Municipal Government of Mogpog passed an ordinance known as the Mineral Resources Ordinance of Mogpog, Marinduque (SB Resolution No. 86-2010) that imposed a "moratorium on large scale and small scale activities within the Municipality of Mogpog fifty (50) years from effectivity of the ordinance".

Said ordinance expressly stated that "no permit or instrument whatsoever for the conduct of large and small scale mining activity within Mogpog shall be issued or be granted by any agency or instrumentality of the Municipality of Mogpog within the said period."

Mogpog Mayor Senen Livelo, Jr.

On June 21, 2011, Mogpog Mayor Senen Livelo, Jr. rejected a request from Poly Mining Group Dev. Corp. for approval of their business permit.

Today, bigger and more serious concerns have been voiced out by the local Mogpog population with the actual presence of heavy equipment and other mining equipment in Taluntunan that are not consistent with small-scale mining operations. Through MACEC they demand for non-extension of the mining permit issued to Poly Mining Group Development Corporation for ore extraction, etc. in Brgys. Bocboc and Puting Buhangin. The permit/s purportedly expires on October 12, 2011.





"I have witnessed the mining activities undertaken by Gold Star Mining Company, Samar Mining Company and Marinduque Industrial Mining Agents, Inc. in our sitio in Taluntunan (Brgy. Bocboc), but no progress was ever achieved by the people living here. I worked in all those mines during those years but what our barangay got in return was the destruction of our rivers and lands. We no longer want our experiences to be repeated. I do not believe that iron ore could be extracted with the mere use of pickaxe and crowbar, that's a lie.", Emilio Labatete, a MACEC officer who hails from Brgy. Bocboc was reported to have said.

A MACEC organized "No to Mining" peaceful rally will be held tomorrow, October 11, 2011. Assembly at 7:00 a.m. at Mogpog Covered Court and will proceed to the Provincial Capitol at 8:00 a.m.

http://www.minesandcommunities.org/article.php?a=4188&l=1
http://ederic.net/proliferation-of-small-scale-mining-alarms-marinduquenos/
http://ederic.net/minahan-sa-mogpog-tinanggihan/

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