Green Party of the Philippines – GPP KALIKASAN MUNA fully supports this initiative by the people of Sibuyan Island to finally protect themselves from the dangers of mining.
PRESS RELEASE: Sibuyan residents push mining moratorium ordinance through people’s initiative
28 February 2023, San Fernando, Romblon – Invoking people’s power of initiative guaranteed by existing laws, 462 residents submitted a petition to enact a twenty-five-year mining moratorium ordinance in the municipality of San Fernando.
The proposed ordinance aims to prohibit “clearing, prospecting, exploration, drilling, excavation, mining, transport of mineral ores and products and such other activities in furtherance of and/or preparatory to all kinds and forms of large-scale and small-scale mining operations”.
It exempts “excavation of stones, sand, gravel, non-metallic earth materials and minerals, which are operated by small-scale miners compliant to existing local and national laws and policies”. It also states that “all approved large-scale mining prior to the enactment of this Ordinance shall strictly follow existing rules, regulations, policies and laws of the government”.
Any person or entity found violating shall, “upon conviction of the Court, be penalized with a fine of not more than Five Thousand Pesos (PHP 5,000,00) or imprisonment of not less than twelve (12) months of both in the discretion of the Court including the confiscation and forfeiture of all mines products, equipment, instruments, and paraphernalia used in the activity”.
Republic Act 6735 otherwise known as The Initiative and Referendum Act and Sections 120 to 127 of Republic Act 7160 otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991 grant at least one hundred (100) registered voters to petition the enactment of a proposed ordinance at the municipal council.
The concerned legislative body must favorably act on the petition within thirty (30) and failure to do so compels the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to assist the petitioners in formulating positions for people’s initiative.
“In taking favorable action on our petition within thirty days, the people of the municipality of San Fernando will know the stand of each member of the Sangguniang Bayan on the issue of mining,” says Rodne Galicha, petitioner and spokesperson of the people from the barricade.
According to Galicha, the ordinance will bar the approval and operations of current and future mining applicants within a period of twenty-five years.
The lead petitioners of the mining moratorium ordinance also include Fr. Cleopedy F. Fabonan, parish priest of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Parish, and Elizabeth R. Ibañez of Sibuyanons Against Mining (SAM).
The petition was received by the Secretary to the Sangguniang Bayan and vice mayor Domingo Marin of the municipality of San Fernando. Video footage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNKwy6jyymw
Today marks the 35th day of the barricade where Sibuyan residents are calling for the cancellation of the Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) of Altai Philippines Mining Corporation.
APMC has been served notices of violations by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) due to a lack of cutting of trees permit and environmental compliance certificate for the construction of the causeway.
Rodne R. Galicha
Social Media: @kalikasan101