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Ban on black sand mining in Ilocos Sur declared

Saturday, March 23, 2013 - 08:50
By Artemio Dumlao
Updated March 20, 2013 - 1:55pm

BAGUIO CIY, Philippines - The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) has declared a ban on all black sand extraction in Ilocos Sur and ordered a moratorium on the issuance of mineral processing permits for such.

Leo Jasareno, MGB director, has recently vowed in a dialogue with various groups to halt all black sand mining operations in Ilocos Sur. Those who were engaging in the activity, he said, had no mining permits.

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Church leads prayer rally vs magnetite mining


By Aldwin Quitasol
February 10, 2013

BAGUIO CITY — The Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia (province of Ilocos Sur) leads the Catholic faithfuls, other religious denominations, environmentalist groups and other organizations and individuals in a prayer rally against magnetite mining in the province of Ilocos Sur dubbed “Tignay Kararag para ti aglawlaw” (Prayer action for the environment).

Members and leaders of the Defend Ilocos Against Mining Plunder (Defend Ilocos), Ilocos Sur Collective Action for the Protection of the Environment (ISCAPE), Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP)-Ilocos Sur Chapter among others will join the faithfuls of the Simbaan Sangkarubaan (SiSa), grassroot communities within the jurisdiction of Nueva Segovia in the province in holding a prayer program at the Burgos Plaza of Vigan City, February 9 at 2:30 PM.

Around 3000 people joined the prayer rally after which they marched towards the business district of Vigan City in a bid to deliver their message to the wider population and the government officials as well.

According to the statement of Defend Ilocos, the prayer rally is an expression of the people of Ilocos Sur against the wide spread destructive magnetite mining in the province. The environmentalist group also stated that this is to refute the claims of Ilocos Sur officials that there are no magnetite mining activities in their place.

Defend Ilocos spokesperson Donna Rabang Peta said for a long period of time, the people of Ilocos including the institutions of the church, the academe and media among others kept mum on the plunder of mining companies on the seashores and even under the sea of the province. She said that the silence of the people has come to an end.

“Panpaneknekan tayo nga agpatinga ti buteng no maikabil iti peggad ti biag ken ti nakaparsuan,” (We are showing that we can can put aside our fears if lives and other creations are at stake) she added.

Peta said there are no other people who should protect the seashores of Ilocos Sur and stand for their rights and ensure a safe environment but the Ilocano people themselves. She said if the people will not take necessary actions against the destructive magnetite mining, they including the future generations will suffer from the effects of environmental degradation.

She said that the collaboration between greedy government officials and mining companies should be exposed and opposed at the most immediate time. This she said is their responsibility as a people of the province and as Christians. #