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Marinduque Mainland from Tres Reyes Islands

Marinduque Mainland from Tres Reyes Islands
View of Mainland Marinduque from Tres Reyes Islands-Click on Photo to link to Marinduque Awaits You

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Reopening of Mines in Marinduque??


Are you in favor or not of reopening the mines in Marinduque? If Yes, why? If No, why? Here is the latest news item on this subject, I found in the Philippines newspaper recently. Let us not be apathetic to the future of our province.By posting your comment in this posting you are showing interest in the future of Marinduque.

A couple of weeks ago, there was news from the Manila Bulletin, that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) of the Philippines was keen on reopening the mines in my beloved province of Marinduque. DENR is seeking the support of the current governor Bong Carrion in order to win popular support from residents of this island. The news also reported that DENR officials assured the governor that the department will not be averse to the clean-up of the 26-kilometer Boac River. This river sustained the most ecological damage when the Taipan mine tailings collapsed in March, 1996. Millions of liters of toxic discharge and contaminated waste drained into the river system and then on to the Philippine sea. This destruction of the main river in Marinduque and six other sub-river systems in the island has deleterious effects to the livelihood of fishermen as well as of the farmers. There are pending lawsuits against Marcopper- the operator of surface mining in the province. Not only was the livelihood of residents affected but serious health concerns were also raised due to the high level of arsenic, cadmium and copper that has contaminated agricultural lands and drinking water. There is a pending lawsuit by local officials against the new owner, Placer Dome Inc., a Canadian mining company.

Governor Carrion said that bioremediation and phytoremedaition must first be completed, before the people of Marinduque could even consider the proposal as environmentally sound. DENR undersecretary Eleazar Quinto is quoted as responsive to the idea of cleaning up first and is not bent on opposing any viable project to clean up the mess.

Here in California, our organization, Marinduque International, Inc( MI,Inc.) has added this subject on our business meeting agenda next week in Buena Park, California. I am scheduled to make a short report on the current status of this proposed reopening project. Other speakers on the subject are lawyers handling the pending lawsuits. The other speaker is the Chairman of our MI, Inc, Environmental Committee. The meeting is scheduled for August 22 at 9:00AM. All Marinduquenos are invited to attend. MI, Inc will hopefully publish a position paper on this subject after our meeting. The position paper will be submitted to Governor Bong Carrion and Representative Carmencita Reyes, with a copy to DENR officials.

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