A coalition of environmentalists, civic leaders, politicians and celebrities is calling for the implementation of a total mining ban in the province of Batangas.
This appeal was put forward in a gathering aimed at seeking the preservation of the Verde Island Passage in Lobo, Batangas.
According to ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation chair Gina Lopez, the coalition has prepared a petition asking for the declaration of the whole Verde Passage as a protected area.
“Seventy percent of the population of Lobo signed the petition. The law says that if the people don’t want it, you can’t mine,” Lopez said.
Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles wants the provincial government of Batangas to make a clear stand on the issue.
Arguelles said that if a moratorium is implemented, this means mining would be only temporarily stopped and that this can begin again.
“Let us just put a stop to it. It is clearly against our nature and human life,” Arguelles added.
Aside from the issue of mining, the province is also faced with the proposal of JG Summit to build a coal-fired power plant in the city of Batangas.
A study presented by Dr. Nim Gonzales, former head of Ateneo’s Communications Department, showed areas where coal-fired power plants exist have persistent problems on noise, water pollution, dust and dirty shores as seen in Calaca, Batangas and Masinloc, Zambales.
In behalf of the provincial government of Batangas, Vice Gov. Marc Leviste assured, “We will never allow our environment to be compromised by any development in Batangas.”