CITIZENS of Lobo, Batangas are currently in celebration after a municipal resolution has been passed cancelling an earlier resolution endorsing the mining project of MRL-Egerthon.
The resolution by Lobo Councilor Rey Nelson Amparo aiming to cancel the endorsement of the mining project was approved through a unanimous decision in an official council session held on July 20, 2015 in Lobo Municipal Hall, with 250 rallyists supported the call for the cancellation of the mining project’s endorsement outside the municipal hall as the dialogue between the citizens of Lobo and MRL-Egerthon was held.
Lobo Vice mayor Renato Perez facilitated the dialogue which was attended by the people of Lobo, Religious organization Archdiocesan Ministry on Environment (AMEn), national anti-mining coalition Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) and Bantay Kalikasan Chairman Gina Lopez.
“It is really a victory for the people of Lobo,” said Fr. Dakila Ramos of Archdiocesan Ministry on Environment (AMEn).
“They passed a resolution without undergoing the proper process and without any consultation. In a way, this shows betrayal to the people of Lobo and our environment.
“We do not want mining to destroy Lobo, and we will never agree to it ever. It is about time that the abusive use of power stops. It is about time that the mining companies realize that they cannot pay their way into ravaging our lands because the people of Lobo will never let it happen.” he added.
Among the issues raised by the groups opposing the MRL-Egerthon’s mining project were the lack of social acceptability of the earlier resolution passed by the municipal council endorsing the mining operation, the destruction in livelihood the operation will bring Lobo, destruction of their environment most especially the Verde Island passage which is the center of the marine biodiversity in the world, and the unsafe containment of the mining operation’s waste if the mining project pushes through.
In the event of approval, MRL-Egerthon would have a permit to commercially mine gold in 1,174 hectares in Lobo, Batangas.
In the same dialogue, MRL -Egerthon answered the issues raised regarding livelihood and the containment of mine waste.
According to the mining company, the project can give 640 Million worth of revenue to Lobo for the whole mine life.
With regard to the waste containment, MRL-Egerthon admitted that they will use cyanide but proper disposal system and equipment are in place along with the project plan.
National anti-mining coalition Alyansa Tigil Mina shot down MRL-Egerthon’s claims declaring these claims as worthless compared to the destruction the mining operation will bring to Lobo.
“Lobo houses an estimate of 40,000 citizens and Mount Banoi, a watershed that provides potable water for Batangas. MRL-Egerthon’s mining operation will surely produce adverse effects not just to the people but to the environment, ” said Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator.
“Even the people of Lobo know this that is why they are doing everything in their power to culminate the plans of mining in their area.
“Social acceptability is one of the fundamental elements for a mining operation to start and since MRL-Egerthon failed to secure this, it is time the mining company faces defeat and leave Lobo alone,” said Garganera.(PR)