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Environmentalists call for wider ban on mining
All Philippine provinces should follow South Cotabatoâ€™s lead, they sayZamboanga del Norte residents renew their call against mining operations in their communities
- Ryan Rosauro, Iligan City
- January 28, 2011
Daniel Castillo, a representative of the Church-based Committee on Mining Issues, said a localized mining ban is a viable countermeasure against a central government mining code of practice which anti-mining activists say favors companies investing in mineral extraction projects.
An environmentalist organization in Cagayan de Oro earlier praised lawmakers in Zamboanga Del NorteÂ province for considering an ordinance banning open-pit mining.
â€śWe are more than willing to support local legislative bodies who are exercising their right to say no to environmentally destructive projects and industries,â€ť said activist Zherwinah B. Mosqueda.
Currently, some 137 applications have been filed to mine or explore for minerals in the southern Philippinesâ€™ Zamboanga Peninsula region.
The total area that would be affected if they are all granted would be 703,598 hectares or almost half the regionâ€™s land mass.
â€śWe encourage other local governments to follow suit. It is well in their mandate to protect their constituents from the ravages of extractive industry-influenced disasters and calamities,â€ť Mosqueda said.
A Mindanao business leader, meanwhile, has joined a Canadian mining firm in urging Zamboanga del Norte legislators to consider the effect a ban on open-pit and open-cut land surface mining would have on the local economy.
Edwin Capili of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and IndustryÂ warned that Zamboanga del Norte could miss out on the social and economic benefits that can be gained from mining.
Capili tried to allay fears of massive destruction to land and water resources by claiming that responsible mining practices are sensitive to the requirements of sustainable development.
Philippine anti-mining activists remain defiant
Bishop welcomes mining companiesâ€™ departure
Archdiocese steps up bid to halt mining