VIGAN CITY: The Ilocos Sur government has turned down the request of a firm to extract magnetite in at least six towns in the province.
Ilocos Sur Gov. Ryan Singson received a notice from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau on July 7 regarding the application for permit of Odyssey Green Globe Resources Corporation, Inc. to explore Caoayan, Santa, Narvacan, Sta. Maria, San Esteban and Santiago towns.
However, Singson rejected the application invoking, “it has always been the advocacy of this administration to preserve, conserve and protect our environment for our future generations.”
Singson, who was earlier criticized by the influential Nueva Segovia diocese in Vigan and various environmental group for reportedly allowing black sand mining operations in at least two locations in Ilocos Sur said, “[my]administration has always been vigilant and has been doing all the necessary measures within the bounds of law, in order to stop illegal activities in our province that is detrimental to our environment.”
He reasoned, “(the) application for exploration permit now presented before us will necessarily expose our environment to exploitation, which may result to its destruction.”
Singson believed black sand mining “will open the floodgates wider for private firms to plunder our own mineral resources at the expense of mother nature.”
Singson added “that the lack of consultation and the non-endorsement of the application from the local government units of the six towns would only mean that there is an utter disregard of the law and more importantly, the people of Ilocos Sur.”
He said the indifference by any firm or even national government agencies “will not be tolerated by this administration”, adding such application exploration permit to extract magnetite sand minerals within our territories it will necessary stifle the initiatives of local government units for environmental protection and posterity.