The Philippines: Ilocos Sur Blocks Dredging Application in Six Towns

The Ilocos Sur provincial government has opposed the application for extracting magnetic sand minerals in six coastal towns in Ilocos Sur citing that this will open the floodgates wider for private firms to abuse mineral resources.

Governor Ryan Singson said the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) notified his office of an application for exploration permit of the Odyssey Greenglobe Resources, Inc. to extract magnetite sand minerals in the flood-prone towns of Caoayan, Santa, Narvacan, Sta. Maria, San Esteban and Santiago.

“The application for exploration permit now presented before us will necessarily expose our environment to exploitation which may result to its destruction,” Singson said.

He added the application did not have the endorsement of the local governments where exploration will be conducted due to alleged non-consultation with the affected towns.

The provincial government expressed its strong opposition to the application because it will stifle the LGUs’ initiatives for environmental protection and prosperity,” he said.

He said the provincial government will only allow dredging along the Abra River and the coastal town of Caoayan to avoid flooding in nearby towns including Vigan City during calamities.

Press Release, July 31, 2014

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