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DENR receives 128k signatures vs Romblon mining

Press Release
June 5, 2012

MANILA  –  Representatives from the province of Romblon, today, turned-over a total of 128,346 signatures to Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) expressing opposition to mining representing 75.85% of the total voting population.

Commemorating the World Environment Day, accompanied by environmental organizations, Dra. Leoncia Que-Firmalo representing Governor Eduardo Firmalo together with representatives of the Alliance of Students Against Mining (ASAM) and Romblon Ecumenical Forum Against Mining (REFAM) who have been leading the signature campaign against mining in the province of Romblon, met Sec. Ramon Paje of DENR.

“These signatures and local resolutions are the real sentiments of our people in Romblon – for Mother Earth and the generations to come. We have chosen the path of eco-tourism and agriculture in the principles of sustainable development,” said Dr. Firmalo, wife of the governor.

Governor Fimalo signed an Executive Order No. 1 series of 2011 declaring a moratorium on mining in the province of Romblon after the three municipalities in Sibuyan Island issued a joint resolution against metallic mining. The order was also issued because of the imminent danger brought by mercury use in small-scale gold mining assessed by Blacksmith Institute and NGO Ban Toxics.

“The students of Romblon are standing-up for their environmental rights, who will do this for us? We, ourselves are acting on the basic principles of environmental sustainability and human rights,” said Joje Constantino Mesana of the Alliance of Students Against Mining.

In the past few months, Romblon has been a hotspot for mining issues as all 17 municipalities had issued anti-mining resolutions. The local government units have been sued by a mining company for issuing local orders and resolutions against mining. The killer of slain anti-mining advocate Armin Rios Marin was only sentenced three years of imprisonment. However, the province successfully discouraged a Canada-based mining company to continue its mining explorations.