mining forum

Representatives from the affected communities in the sites of struggles (SOS) of mining operations in the Leyte Island attended the "Forum on the Impacts of Mining in Leyte Island" held on April 27, 2012 at the Training Hall of the Institute for Strategic Research and Development Studies (ISRDS).

 

In her presentation, Assoc. Prof. Maria Aurora Teresita W. Tabada, Director of the ISRDS, revealed that more than half of Leyte and Southern Leyte have been applied for mining. She also warned everyone to avoid further damage in the lives and livelihoods of the communities in the SOS due to mining operations and explained further some ways by which the mining problem could be addressed. These include capacitating Local Government Units (LGUs) and the community on how to deal with mining issues; generating solidarity among aggrieved parties; crafting rules on the valuation of environmental resources, carefully studying gains/losses from mining, and reviewing conflicting government policies such as Mining and Food Security and Mining and Eco-tourism.

Tabada also stressed that VSU assists, in terms of technical support and people empowerment, the affected communities in the mining sites of struggle in the Leyte Island. She added that VSU's engagement in MacArthur, Leyte started in November 24, 2009 when the Parish requested VSU to present the impacts of mining because the Nicua Mining Corporation-Leyte Ironsan Corpitation (LIC) had started mining the irrigated rice fields in Barangay Pongon, MacArthur, Leyte and the communities are not aware that their permit has already been approved by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB). This is despite the fact that in a live interview with MGB Director Leo Jasareo, over DZRH, he said that "Rice fields are not supposed to be mined."

To facilitate the provision of immediate assistance to the communities in the SOS, VSU created a Quick Response Team (QRT) composed of Dr. Felix Salas, Mr. Dennis Peque, Dr. Eduardo O. Mangaoang, Ms. Hazel Bellesas, Prof. Jacob Glenn Jansalin, Ms. Heremerose Matutes, Dr. Maria Juliet Ceniza, Dr. Sergio Abit, Forester Teofanes Patindol and Prof. Tabada.