The Diocese of San Carlos, along with several civil society, environmental groups, and fisherfolk organizations lauded the members of the Sagay City Sanguniang Panlungsod in their January 10 resolution rejecting the proposed mining project of Tambuli Mining Corporation in Brgy. Lopez Jaena, Sagay City.
“Ever since the very beginning of this mining proposal, we have already expressed our deep concern on the social and environmental impacts of this yet another mining project situated in nearby communities and water sources,” San Carlos Diocese Bishop Gerardo Alminaza said Thursday, January 18.
The Diocese of San Carlos, with its Social Action Center, Ecology Desk, and the St Joseph Parish in Sagay, released a statement on January 7 expressing concern over the corporation’s “failure to address vital issues raised, particularly the potential impacts on soil, air, water, and the overall community well-being.”
The proposed copper mining project will cover 60 hectares in 12 Barangays in Sagay and a portion of Escalante and the said project is only 14 kilometers away from Sagay Marine Reserve (SMR).
“The project is adjacent to the Tanao and Himogaan rivers, which is then connected to an important marine biodiversity area, the Sagay Marine Reserve. SMR is the long legacy of marine conservation in Sagay and it is where the livelihood of marginal fishers depend. This proposed project now endangers SMR and our livelihood,” said Nelpa Lobaton, who chairs SASFA, a fisherfolk alliance in Sagay.
“We support our councilors in their resolution and this only proves that they are representing the interest of marginal fisherfolks and they are thinking of the big impact of the project on SMR and the environment. As members of the Fisherfolk and Aquatic Resources Management Council (FARMC), the proponents had not conducted consultation with FARMC since the Fisheries Administrative Order 196 is clear that for any project that may impact fisheries, the FARMC should be consulted,” she added.
Meanwhile, environment network Negrosanon Initiative for Climate and the Environment (Nice) also celebrated this decision of the SP.
“We commend the SP for making this principled stance. Sagay is a model of conservation and sustainability, and we are grateful that such an environmentally destructive project was not allowed in the City,” Joshua Villalobos of Nice said.
Groups such as the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement - Negros, Partido Manggagawa-Negros, Negros Workers Development Center (NWDC), Freedom from Debt Coalition-Negros, Southeast Asia Regional Initiatives for Community Empowerment (SEARICE), Kaisahan tungo sa Kaunlara ng Kanayunan at Repormang Pansakahan (KAISAHAN), Pederasyon para sa Kauswagan sang Kababaenhan, Mangunguma kag Mangingisda sa Nahabagatnang Probinsya sang Negros Occidental Inc., NYLI-Climate Solution Center, Lunhaw Ecology Desk, Youth Empowering Youth Initiative (YEY), Philippine Youth Network for Interfaith Dialogue, DAKILA Bacolod, Sipaway Seagrass Guardians also joined in lauding the city council of Sagay for their decision to reject the mining proposal. (PR)