(May 27, 2022, San Fernando, Romblon) – Due to mining opposition in Sibuyan Island, an initial process to obtain an environmental compliance certificate through an information and education campaign (IEC) was disrupted and stopped.
An unidentified environmental consultancy group commissioned by Altai Philippines Mining Corporation (APMC) attempted to conduct an IEC as “a formal step in the processing of the Project’s Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC)”. A letter of invitation to different sectors in San Fernando town in Romblon province circulated in social media a day before the event.
“Those who will benefit more are those who are rich and those who have less will not, don’t be greedy… and the effect of this on the environment is permanent,” said Viring Rafol Batan, a concerned citizen who attended the activity.
A barangay councilor of the affected village of Taclobo disclosed that he was offered a monthly allowance by a mining company representative.
“Stop telling us that we cannot stop your activities anymore. We are all here now opposing, and you even offered 5,000 pesos as allowance just to sign-up?”
After receiving a series of queries and reactions from participants, APMC consultants decided to halt their activity.
Mining operations of APMC was issued cease and desist order in 2011 by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau due to lack of social acceptability but the same agency lifted it last September 2021 months after the issuance of Executive Order 130 which institutionalizes and implements reforms in the Philippine mining industry.
A security officer of APMC shot to death municipal councilor Armin Rios Marin in 2007. The company is now controlled by a Kenneth Gatchalian-related company Dynamo Atlantic Ltd. (https://pcij.org/article/7162/families-in-business-in-the-pandora-papers)
Source: Bayan Sibuyanon FB Page.