Sablayan town mayor to Arroyo: Bar mining firm from exploiting our land

mining-kids protest

There is no doubt that large-scale mining operations, like the one being undertaken by the Aglubang Mining Corp. in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro, cause irreparable devastation of farm lands.

This was pointed out by the regional executive director of the Department of Agriculture in a July 7, 2009 letter to Environment Secretary Jose L. Atienza Jr.: “The Municipality of Sablayan is one of our major rice- and corn-producing areas in the province and we believe that any major mining operations would greatly affect the agriculture production and endanger social economic conditions in the area. With these, we are supporting the Honorable Mayor [the undersigned] in asking your help to preempt any mining activity in the municipality.”

Recently, as a result of Typhoon Jolina’s onslaught, Sablayan experienced heavy floods, landslides, soil erosion and scouring which rendered its national highways impassable for several weeks and caused huge and serious damage to crops, livestock and property, plus “opportunity loss.” Undoubtedly, large-scale mining would deplete Sablayan’s remaining forest and vegetation cover, aggravate river and coastal deterioration and increase incidents of landslide, soil erosion and, possibly, wipe out its forest cover.

It is for this reason that all of Sablayan’s 22 barangays and its Sangguniang Bayan are opposed to Aglubang’s mining operations and they have expressed their opposition through their respective resolutions and through a municipal ordinance which bears the approval of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Occidental Mindoro.

The people of Occidental Mindoro, and more particularly of Sablayan, prayerfully appeal to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Secretary Atienza to disallow the entry of Aglubang Mining Corp. into our town, in order that our town may continue to be the food basket of Region 4 and provide our people and the rest of the country the more than 300,000 metric tons of rice it produces every year.

GODOFREDO B. MINTU
Municipal Mayor
Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro
Email: mayor.mintu@gmail.com

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