Residents of Manicani Island in Eastern Samar on Thursday appealed to the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR) to act on the disposal of the waste ore stockpile on the island.
The group ‘True Macanani People’ and residents of the province, including the officials from barangays San Jose, Banaag, Hamorawon were in Manila to appeal to Environment Secretary Ramon Paje and officials of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) to allow immediate clear 1,160 hectares of stockpile as this poses as a health hazards to the residents.
The stockpile is waste from the old operations of the Hinatuan Mining Corporation, which suspended mining activities some 15 years ago.
There were several calls made in the past to clear the stockpile, including a resolution issued by the barangay officials while then rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson asked the DENR to have the waste ore stockpile on the island removed as it posed a threat of landslide if a new super typhoon hits.
Last year, the DENR through the mines bureau ordered the removal of the stockpile but the order could only be executed once the MGB issues the Ore Transport Permit and the Mineral Ore Export Permit.
Out of the 2,500 residents in the three affected barangays, more than 300 will be hired for the stockpile removal operation, which is projected to last for two years.
However, the removal operation has been stopped and residents fear that they don’t have any source of income since dynamite fishing has killed the fishing industry in the area.
The officials also asked MGB to release the OTP and MOEP so the removal operations can continue.