Multi-sectoral groups protest mining in Negros

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MANILA, Nov. 22, 2012?A coalition of various groups took to the streets in a caravan to protest mining activities in Sagay City in Northern Negros.

Led by the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP) and Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), the “No to Mining and Coal Alliance (NOMICA) Northern Negros,” called on government to stop destructive mining operations in Sagay City and ban the installation of the Coal-fired power plant in Cadiz City.

Various groups take their protest against mining to the streets in caravan from San Carlos City to Bacolod City, Nov. 21-23, 2012. (Photo courtesy of NOMICA-Negros)

In a press statement, the groups asserted their strong resistance in the ongoing Silica and Black Sand mining in Sagay City’s two barangays?Baviera and Sitio Looc, Old Sagay, respectively.

An international fact finding mission recently conducted in the area revealed the damaging effects of the ongoing mining operations on the livelihood of people living in the vicinity.

Headed by Asian Peasant Coalition, the International Fact Finding and Environmental Mission had delegates from Nepal, Indonesia, Sri-Lanka, Belgium and United Kingdom.

According to the statement, some 120 families living along the coastal areas of Sagay have been relocated to give way for the mining activities.

Another 14 families in Sitio Looc whose livelihood depend on collecting sea shells suffered the same fate.

The multi-sectoral groups lamented that thousands more would be displaced if the mining operations continue.

They said the Magnetite mining in Sagay “is disguised as dredging and restoration operations” in the mouths of Himoga-an and Tan-ao Rivers.

Meanwhile, residents of Baviera village complained that the mining of Silica poses a “big threat to the lives of the people and to the life of the river due to siltation.”

The groups are concerned that the mining operation, if goes on “will eventually lead to disaster such as flood and more displacement of the people.”

They also rejected the proposed installation of coal-fired power plant in Cadiz City as this poses a great threat to people’s lives due to hazardous elements that would be released in the atmosphere.

The people’s caravan began at San Carlos City on November 21 and ends in Bacolod City on November 23. (CBCPNews)

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