GMANews.TV

At least six bishops from Eastern Visayas made an impassioned appeal to government leaders to stop mining in their region.

Mining in the region will only worsen the environment’s deteriorating state and destroy the livelihood of people, the bishops said.

“We call on our responsible leaders in government, in the private sector and all those who harbor intentions of mining our region to listen to the voices of our people: ‘Bring back the Beautiful Land we had once; STOP MINING IN OUR REGION,'” the bishops said in a statement issued on Oct. 22.


A view of the sulfur mine in the upland of Caibiran, Biliran. (Photo courtesy of www.biliranisland.com). Prof. Rolando Borrinaga

Signing the pastoral statement titled “A Call to Stop Mining in Eastern Visayas Region” were Palo Archbishop Jose Palma, Catarman Bishop Emmanuel Trance, Borongan Bishop Crispin Varquez, Maasin Bishop Precioso Cantillas, Calbayog Bishop Isabelo Abarquez, and Naval Bishop Felomino Bactol.

Excerpts of the statement were posted Wednesday on the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines news site.

While government and private firms have shown keen interest in developing the mining industry in the territory, the bishops criticized the “misplaced priorities” of some local leaders, accusing them of acting “more as agents of the mining firms rather than agents of the people.”

They noted several mining permits for exploration and mining production sharing agreements (MPSAs) have been issued in many parts of the region’s islands of Samar, Leyte and Biliran even as Leyte’s provincial board recently mulled a possible moratorium on pre-mining and mining activities until disagreements are resolved.

The bishops voiced alarm on the impact of extractive industries especially on the islands of Manicani and Homonhon in Eastern Samar and Batag in Northern Samar, which they say are threatened by destructive mining operations.

“As shepherds of our flock, it is our collective sentiments that the continuing drive for development of the Eastern Visayas region anchored on mining as well as other extractive economic pursuits, only reinforce the irreversible trend of permanently damaging nature’s endowments. As a consequence, the many lines of opportunities upon which our people can draw their life sustenance will definitely be threatened immensely,” they said.

Previous experiences show that the social costs and irreversible damage on the environment and livelihood caused by mining far outweigh its perceived economic benefits, and these should have imparted lessons to everyone, the bishops claimed.

Citing the case of the depleted Bagacay mine in Hinabangan, Western Samar, the prelates said the mining firm left the area devastated and the river poisoned after having extracted all minerals from the ground.

“The people who had high hopes of being lifted from their sorry state of poverty were left to fend for themselves and grapple with the realities that there are no more fertile grounds to grow their food or natural river systems to catch the fishes for their day’s meal,” they said.

The prelates also noted the decade-long struggle of communities in Manicani, Homonhon and Batag islands, which have to cope with the effects of mining on the environment and local livelihoods.—JV, GMANews.TV

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5 COMMENTS

  1. To all WHO AGAINST MINING!

    I am dis agree too all of you.

    If you are really ANTI-MINING, you are all HYPOCRITE AND PLASTIC!

    WHY I SAY THAT?

    1. The METALS YOU USED IN BUILDING CHURCH ARE PRODUCT OF MINING.

    2. The METALS YOU ALL USED IN EATING, LIKE SPOON, FORK AND EVEN THE METAL CUP YOU USED IN EVERY MASS YOU HAVE EVERY SUNDAY IS PRODUCT OF MINING.

    3. ALL THE MATERIALS YOU USED IN BUILDING EVERY CHURCH, HOUSES, CITY HALLS, BRGY. HALLS, CAPITOLS ETC… ARE PRODUCT OF MINING.

    4. THE WIRES WE ALL USED TO CONNECT THE POWER FROM POWER PLANT TO HOUSES ARE CAME FROM MINING. THE PARTS OF TV, RADIO AND EVEN THE MICROPHONE YOU USED IN SERVINGS ARE PRODUCT OF MINING.

    5. 99% OF THE THINGS WE USED IN THIS ENTIRE GLOBE ARE PRODUCT OF MINING. SO WHAT DO YOU WILL BE THE OUTCOME IF THE WHOLE WORLD WILL STOP MINING?

    SA TINGIN KO ANG MGA ANTI-MINING GROUP AY MGA PAPANSIN LAMANG PARA MASABING CONCERN SILA SA MUNDO. ANG DAPAT NYONG GAWIN AY MAGSIPAG SA PAGBANTAY SA MGA MINING COMPANIES KUNG GINAGAWA BA NILA ANG PAGMIMINA NG NAAYON SA TAMANG PARAAN AT BATAS.

    SOME POINTS THAT THESE ANTI-MINING GROUP NEED TO THINK.

    ANG MGA MINA NA NASA ATING LUPAIN AY YAMAN NATIN, SA TINGIN NYO, MATATANIMAN BA NATIN ANG LUPANG PUNO NG SULFUR? NG COPPER? NG MANGANESE? NG IRON? KUNG SINO SA INYO NAGSASABING OO, MGA TANGA KAYO.

    ISA LANG ANG ALAM KONG TAWAG SA MGA ANTI-MINING GROUP, ANO YON? KAYO AY MGA TAMAD!!!

    TAMAD KAYONG MAGBANTAY SA MGA COMPANIES KUNG SUMUSUNOD BA SILA SA BATAS NG TAMANG PAGMIMINA.

    AT KUNG SA BIBLE NAMAN NINYO IBABASE ANG INYONG ARGUMENTO, ETO ANG TANONG KO SA INYO. PANO NAGKAROON NG MGA KAGAMITANG ARMAS NA YARI SA METAL ANG MGA MANDIRIGMA NOON? AT SA BIBLIYA NAKASULAT DIN NA GAMITIN ANG LAHAT NG PWEDENG PAKINABANGAN SA TAMANG PARAAN.

    KAYA DAPAT HINDI NYO GAMITIN ANG ANTI-MINING NA KATWIRAN, DAPAT NYONG GAMITIN AY MINING REGULATORS. PARA NAMAN SA GANUN MATAUHAN ANG MGA ABUSADONG NAGMIMINA. YUN LANG.

  2. LAHAT NG TAO SA MUNDO, WALANG EKSEPSYON, AY GINAWA SA PARAAN NG PAGTATALIK O SEX! EBIG MONG SABIHIN KAPAG NAKAKITA KA NG BABAE O LALAKI AY MAKIKIPAGTALIK KA NA? HENDEE DEBAAA? KAILANGAN LANG DUMAAN KA SA PROSESO NG PANLILIGAW AT PAG-AASAWA. GANUN DEN SA MINEEENG! GAGAWIN MO SA PARAANG DI MAKAKASERA SA KAPALIBOTAN. KUNG HIGIT NA MAKAKASERA KAYSA MAKAKABOTE, WAG KANG MAGMENAA! MAY MGA LOGARL NA PWEDI KA MAGMENA. AYON SA MGA OBESPU, DI PWEDI SA SAMAR. DI EBIG SABIHIN NA KONTRA NA SILA SA PAGMINA ONG ITU AY TAMA ANG PARAAN AT PWEDI SA ISANG LOGARL.

    ENTYENDES TU?

  3. @ 1. BUNGAW

    I agree mostly to your justification to go mining BUT I disagree to your notion to put the burden to these people who are anti-mining and calling them TAMAD. SO, YOU WANT THESE PEOPLE TO WATCH THESE MINING OPERATIONS AND DIE WITH HUNGER? IF THIS WILL ONLY BE THEIR DAILY ROUTINE? MAG-BANTAY SA MGA MINING COMPANY? Please answer me.

    I have some few questions to your justification;

    1. Did you ever over-fly the island of Mindoro, Samar, the mountains in Mindanao especially the gold mining area.
    2. Are you not aware of the flush floods in Southern Leyte?
    3. Are you comfortable with the increasing Global Temperature?
    4. Are you happy that our beaches are disappearing?
    5. May I know your religion?
    6. Where is the proceed of the income from mining?
    7. You said “MGA TAMAD KAYO MAGBANTAY”. What about you? What you do?

    Thank you.

  4. One more thing. Not only mining, there’s what I called MR. MOKLES DINAMITA Y DIPABOTO in Ungale, a reportedly Espina supporter, who is on dynamite fishing. DOES THIS IDIOT KNOWS IT WILL TAKE BETWEEN 200-300 YEARS TO GET AN INCH GROWTH on our corals?

    Wondering why he’s not apprehended by S/SUPT SABORNIDO…

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