Photo from Rodne Galicha

Altai Philippines Mining Corporation (APMC) will temporarily cease its operation in Brgy. España, Sibuyan Island in Romblon until issues raised against it are addressed and resolved.

This was the result of a dialogue held among the mining company, local and provincial government officials, the provincial Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Romblon, and environmental groups on Friday, February 3.

Living Laudato Si executive director Rodne Galicha noted the following violations of APMC as discussed in the dialogue:

  1. APMC violated PD 1067 known as the Water Code of the Philippines- shore easement construction of structures
  2. APMC violated DAO 2004-24 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations – no foreshore lease agreement (Sec. 2c); salvage zone construction
  3. APMC violated Section 4 of PD 1586 – construction of causeway without Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC)
  4. APMC violated Section 77 of PD 705 – cutting/clearing of trees without permit

“Items 1 and 2 are included in the Notice of Violation (NOV) issued on 1 February 2023, and received by APMC on 2 February 2023. The company is directed to stop further developing the area and avoid unnecessary activities that would worsen the situation in the area,” Galicha shared.

“NOV for Items 3 and 4 were supposed to be served to APMC on 3 February 2023, but the representative of the company declined to receive due lack of authority to accept. DENR shall then post the NOV on the gate of APMC and other strategic places of operations,” he added.

Earlier that day, at least 2 protesters were hurt as the local police tried to disperse the anti-mining groups that have put up a human barricade in the area trying to prevent the operations of the mining company since Sunday.

“PNP will act on the behavior of the deployed team involved in the series of incidents upon filing of complaints,” Galicha said.

The protesters were also requested to self-disperse but insisted to hold their line until the barges and ships of APMC leave and the mining company vacates the area.

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