Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Intex Resources, Inc., is proposing for the establishment of a 1,000-hectare High Pressure Acid Leach (HPAL) plant in Brgy. Pinagturilan, Sta. Cruz, Occidental Mindoro but the project was rejected by the people yesterday. Sta. Cruz’ local legislators through a Municipal Ordinance,- which is made possible by pressures being employed by residents who staged series of mass actions recently, officially blocked every attempt to erect said mining facility. Again, it was a partial victory for us who believe in the integrity of creation.We who oppose the Mindoro Nickel Project or MNP.
Indeed, the MNP is the hottest political issue in my province today.
When asked if she is a “pro-mining” or an “anti-mining”, a particular public figure in our place openly declared, “I am not pro-mining. I am not anti-mining. I am pro-people!” . But stances of this sort must be mirrored through action. There must be concrete, qualifiable and quantifiable measurements for such pronouncement. For example, there are (Local Government Units)LGU’s in Occidental Mindoro who showed clear manifestations of their opposition to MNP. The Municipality of Sablayan passed and approved General Ordinance No. 2007-GO03B and for Abra de Ilog, they have Ordinance No. 09, Series of 2008. Both Mayor Godofredo Mintu and Vice Mayor Eduardo Gadiano (of Sablayan) including Mayor Eric Constantino (of Abra de Ilog), make their presence felt in every public activity and even in mobilizations concerning the MNP. Not to be excluded of course are the efforts of the rest of their LGU officials.
In Sta. Cruz alone, there are 10 mining applications waiting if the MNP would prosper. Around 25 thousand hectares would be covered by said applications. Based on the figures from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), the main commodities that are being eyed for mining explorations are nickel, chrome, iron and bull quartz.
As usual, it must be “deed” over “words” for us. But what would a “pro-people” political leader do to show that he/she is really “pro-people”? Concretely in our situation, what she or he need to do is to remind the mining company of the involvement of concerned LGUs in the exploration stage (i.e. the EIA process) of the project to get free, prior and informed consent of the people on every community project as mandated by laws. How can you stand and declare that you are “pro-people” without this?
He or she must also push for preventive legislative mechanism as safety nets for its negative impacts. The “pro-people” public servant must also warn his/her political allies, or anybody within his/her sphere of influence, for a possible or imminent blunders of Intex. As a spring board, there are things that needs to be initiated by a “pro-people” official : drafting of a local code of conduct for mining companies or sort of guidelines for responsible mining. The good, true-blooded and elected “pro-people” leader should spearhead studies and researches regarding its impact on our environment and agricultural sustainability. These are just few examples.
I go personally for the approval of the Alternative Mining Bill in Congress. Support the House Bill 6342!
With the people in general and the LGU’s had been marginalized by Intex in these very important processes, your “pro-people” stance is just a plain and simple rhetoric…
("The Well is Connected to its Source" SSC File Photo)