Ilocos Sur governor irked at black sand mining tirades


BAGUIO CITY: Ilocos Sur Governor Ryan Singson cried foul at tirades against him by anti-magne- tite mining groups, including the powerful Roman Catholic Church, following the alleged proliferation of black sand mining in the province.

“Why don’t they ask where the Nueva Segovia Diocese gets its multi-million investment in Ilocos Sur?” an irate Singson said.

Local government executives have been ordered to strictly enforce restrictions on black sand and beach mining to prevent the destruction of coastlines and stop the illegal extraction of minerals.

In a memorandum dated April 4, 2014, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in coordination with the MGB, ordered provincial executives to cancel the sand and gravel permits and file charges against entities involved in black sand mining.

The order also enjoins local government units to strictly ban the extraction of minerals in beaches.

In spite of this and the pronouncements of Singson and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) that it doesn’t exist in the province, black sand mining appears to be alive and well, according to residents of Caoayan and two island communities of Santa town.

Donna Peta, convenor of the group Defend Ilocos Against Mining Plunder, said the reason why residents doubt Singson is because of the appearance of 12 ships since May 12, 2014 about 200 meters from the shorelines of Villamar and Poro Island.

Peta said the ships—six dredge vessels with magnetic separators and 6 barges—are owned by Isla Verde Mining & Development Company and Mega East Archipelago Resources Corporation.

The provincial government said the former is dredging the Abra River while the latter is rehabilitating the Mestizo River.

However, residents and various groups, including the Social Action Center of the Arch Diocese of Nueva Segovia in Vigan City, doubt this story.

They cited the case against Hong Ze Mining in Barangay Tamorong, Sta. Catalina town that claimed to be dredging the Bantaoay River.

The company was later raided and dismantled by the Inter-Agency Anti-Illegal Mining Task Force in August 2013 for violating the 200-meter no-mining zone along beaches and for illegally extracting ore and transporting it.


Please follow our commenting guidelines.


  1. Ronto Caniada on

    Wake up people in Ilocos Sur, soon your town will be wipe out by large tidal wave.

  2. the same thing is happening at the major and dying PADSAN RIVER that pass through the towns SOLONA, DINGRAS, SARRAT AND LAOAG. Corrupt politicians and foreign business people are destroying the rivers if not the towns. GOVERNOR – PLEASE STOP THIS DESTRUCTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT.

  3. This is how powerful politics is in ILOCOS SUR.

    No government has the will and power to execute law and order in this province.

    The family is untouchable. We salute those who sacrifice their lives and future to go against the powerful clan.

    We pray that someday God will put a stop in these and change the lives of this people.


  4. you can take a Chinese out of China but you can not take China out of a Chinese. They just want to take the black sand to their ancestral home.

  5. matagal nang gawain yan, noon pa, center of smuggling yang poro island na yan..

  6. Philippines! wake up, do not let your enemy destroy the country in cahoots with greedy locals while you are asleep, besides bullying you, to rub your priceless territories. Ban them from mining or logging any place in the country.