A GROUP that opposes mining urged the government to scrap the Mining Act of 1995 (Republic Act 7942) in a rally held in Kabankalan City Monday, March 4.
Fr. Alvin Gene Lacson, coordinator of the anti-mining alliance Defend Patrimony South Negros, in a statement, said that mining has brought destruction to the environment and irreparable damages to people’s lives.
Lacson added that while mining in Southern Negros stopped due to the series of protests they held in the late 1990s and early 2000, some companies are now planning to re-open mining sites.
He added that the Mines and Geosciences Bureau has approved about seven Mineral Production Sharing Agreement including that of Maricalum Mining Corporation in San Jose, Sipalay City and Philex Mining Corporation in Nabulao, Sipalay City.
He said there are 50 approved applications for mining in Negros Occidental covering more or less 355,000 hectares or almost one-third of the land area of the province.
In Negros Oriental, there are 46 approved applications for mining covering 152,348 hectares.
Despite the farmers' protest, quarry permits have been granted to big quarry operators in Ilog and Hilabangan Rivers that have resulted to inundation of farmlands, he said.
Written protests, he added, have been lodged before the Provincial Environment Management Office.
“The said protests seem unheard as no actions were taken. Worst, those farmers protesting against the quarry are subjected to militarization and harassment by military who have encamped in several barangays in Kabankalan City,” Lacson added. (TDE/CNC)