• Zambales folk want mining firms to stay

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    STA. CRUZ, Zambales: Mine workers are seeking the continued operations of three nickel mining companies here.

    About 500 placard bearing mine workers and beneficiaries of the industry from Santa Cruz trooped to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Central Office in Quezon City and held a dialogue with officials of the agency. They said they want Benguet Nickel Minerals Inc., Eramen Minerals Inc. and LNL Archipelago Minerals Inc. to continue their operation in the locality.

    Orlan Mayor, president of the Coalition of Mine Workers, Families and Communities (CMWFC), said their move was aimed at halting the possible suspension anew of the mining firms’s operations purportedly in response to the DENR’s hearing the complaint of Concerned Citizens of Santa Cruz (CCOS), which alleges the mining firms violated the conditions of the Temporary Lifting Order (TLO) imposed against them.

    CMWFC is composed of mine workers in Santa Cruz and nearby towns and their families that advocate responsible mining.  Mayor said their coalition is pushing for systematic, humane and pro-environment mining.

    In their dialogue at Quezon City, the DENR informed the coalition that teams from the agency have been dispatched to Santa Cruz to assess the compliance of the three mining companies. The teams will finish the report of their assessment next week.

    Records showed the DENR- Mines and Geosciences Bureau issued on June 15 last year a suspension order to four mining firms operating in Santa Cruz, which also include Zambales Diversified Metals Corp.

    The suspension displaced at least 3,000 mining workers in the area.

    After more than seven months, the mining corporations were able to resume operation when they were issued by the DENR a TLO in February 20, 2015. But the lifting order lapsed on Wednesday.

    Mayor said that their group trooped the to DENR Central Office so the agency will not to be swayed by the issues raised by CCOS against the mining firms.

    Since the start of mining operation in this town, thousands of local folks have benefited from the various community projects initiated by the mining firms. The mining firms also provided day care centers, schools, water system, and health centers for the community. Livelihood and skills training were also provided to local folks.

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    3 Comments

    1. daniel espirito on

      Benito Molino is a rabid anti-mining person. He depicts the town of Sta Cruz as if it is a devastated town – all lies of course. On May 16, 2015, the towns people of Sta Cruz expressed their dismay to Benito Molino. They have clearly and convincingly debunked the claims of Benito Molino. For those who care for the development of Sta Cruz – come and visit Sta Cruz and see for yourself.

    2. Benito E. Molino on

      Yes the mining companies provided employment and supported community projects including scholarship, but the operations of these mining companies have destroyed all but one of the four major river systems in the area. Coastal areas of at least eight (8) barangays are now silted with nickel laterite and the fisherfolks are claiming that the marine effects of mining operations already reached 30 nautical miles off the shore last rainy season.
      The destructive mining operations buried hundreds of hectares of fishponds and farmlands. Annual palay production went down by at least 100,000 cavans or 4,000 tons. The roads are destroyed. The production of almost all the farmers tilling 3,000 hectares of farmlands, hundreds of fishpond operators working on 300 hectares of fishponds and a thousand of fisherfolks in the rivers and the sea are affected. Thus, the cost of lost food production is much more than the combined income of the mine workers. The roads are destroyed and almost all the residents of the town including the mine workers are prone to respiratory and skin diseases due to air, water and land nickel and chrome pollution.
      If the destruction of the environment of our town will continue, the lives of the coming generations will be gravely affected and these mining companies and the supporters of their destructive mining operations should be held liable.

    3. Benito E. Molino on

      Yes the mining companies provided employment and supported community projects including scholarship, but the operations of these mining companies have destroyed all but one of the four major river systems in the area. The destructive mining operations buried hundreds of hectares of fishponds and farmlands. Annual palay production went down by at least 100,000 cavans or 4,000 tons. The roads are destroyed. The production of almost all the farmers tilling 3,000 hectares of farmlands, hundreds of fishpond operators working on 300 hectares of fishponds and a thousand of fisherfolks in the rivers and the sea are affected. Thus, the cost of lost food production is much more than the combined income of the mine workers. The roads are destroyed and almost all the residents of the town including the mine workers are prone to respiratory and skin diseases due to air, water and land nickel and chrome pollution.
      If the destruction of the environment of our town will continue, the lives of the coming generations will be gravely affected and these mining companies and the supporters of their destructive mining operations should be held liable.