ROXAS City, Capiz – Members of the Capiz Environmental Protection Alliance (CEPA) hold an ecumenical prayer rally afternoon of August 27 to call for the reinstatement of mining moratorium in the province that was lifted last May by the previous board of Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
Ordinance No. 009, dated May 11, 2016, paved the way for the lifting of the mining ban.
“The passage of the ordinance is an act of treachery by the SP to the people’s verdict against the operation of large scale mining in the province of Capiz in the late 1990s,” CEPA’s position paper said.
The mining ban was passed through Ordinance No. 6 on August 27, 1999 after series of protests against large scale mining activities and the acceptance and processing of all applications for mineral agreements.
“The mining ban is a product of almost half a decade of advocacy, lobbying and social mobilizations for the preservation and protection of the environment in the province.”
As of July 2011, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Region VI (MGB6) has approved mineral production sharing’s agreement of 8,931.6900 hectares and with pending mining applications of over 30,000 hectares. Both approved and pending applications covers almost 15% of the total land area of Capiz.
“The timing of the passage of the Ordinance No. 009 is highly dubious and tantamount to corruption. Their scheming maneuver caught the people of Capiz unguarded. We are deceived,” CEPA added.
CEPA argues that Capiz is renowned as the “Seafood Capital of the Philippines.” As such, mining should never be allowed as it will endanger the seafood quality and business in the province.
Mining will also imperil the agricultural economic character of the province. Thousands of rice farms will be affected of the toxic mineral residue from mining.
Series of protest actions will be launched starting September to gather broad support from the public and even from the government to reinstate the mining moratorium in the province.
CEPA is joined by Bayan Capiz, provincial farmers alliance KAMACA (Kahublagan sang Mangunguma sa Capiz), indigenous peoples organization TUMANDUK, lawyers and members from the academe, women’s group and the urban poor communities./PT