Mining will undermine the island’s ability to feed itself or develop its significant
eco tourism potential.
Dr. Robert Goodland
& Clive Wicks
Philippines: Mining or Food?
A mother sings hymns of justice
Many people were already gathered outside a vacant lot in Sitio Olango that early
morning packed with their usual campaign paraphernalia (banners and placards) stating
their opposition against the proposed Sibuyan Nickel Project.
The hundred strong demonstrators were determined to block the way of the mining staff
who were supposed to conduct an inventory of trees that will be cut for the project.
That situation was very unusual for that peaceful place; the grazing land on the
other side of the road remained calm with the soft breeze of the air while the towering
Mount Guiting-guiting seemed to be watching them silently. >read more
Testing Executive Order 79: Sibuyan Island
The controversial Executive Order 79 signed by President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino
III and its Implementing Rules and Regulations are already set in place. What’s next?
Consider the case of Sibuyan Island, situated in the middle of the Philippines and
is composed of three municipalities belonging to the province of Romblon. This ice-age
island is undoubtedly a hotspot for biodiversity conservation as seen by the scientific
community. Almost every year, new biological species are being discovered. >read
24 mammals endangered
Zubiri identified these species as the Palawan fly fox, Isarog shrew mouse, Binturong,
Dinagat hairy-tailed rat, Dinagat hairy-tailed cloud rat, Panay bushy-tailed cloud
rat, Ilin hairy-tailed cloud rat, bushy-tailed cloud rat; flying lemur, Philippine
tube-nosed fruit bat, Southern Luzon giant cloud rat, Dinagat gymnure, wooly flying
fox, grey flying fox, small flying fox, white-winged fruit bat, little golden-mantled
flying fox, bearded pig, Visayan warty pig, Philippine warty pig and the Calamian
Three others that do not have common names and which come from Sibuyan Island, Mindoro
and Sulu—were also included in the list. >read more
Sibuyan and Romblon
The people are so nice though. Good English because many moved there from other islands,
and very welcoming. After I found the fruits I was looking for, I returned to my
thingsat the port, which was secluded and completely deserted except for two officers
who I knew were sleeping in the office but who wouldn't answer my calls at the door.
So I laid out my pad on a bench and went to sleep. >read more
Defending the environment
One of our leaders had been shot to death that very day in an isolated island called
Sibuyan. He was killed by an armed mining security officer while leading a protest
against a research activity funded by a mining company. He was infuriated by the
fact that mining conglomerate dummies were given special license to cut some 70,000
trees and the world’s largest nickel mining company was trying to invest in the island.
To my knowledge, this is the only environmental killing case which a court tried
to resolve. The punishment was three years imprisonment for the killer, after five
years of seeking for justice. >read more
Off to Sibuyan
I had the great pleasure of visiting Romblon's Sibuyan Island last year, but it was
not the first time I saw it. In 2007, it was the site of a huge protest action, with
the whole town expressing indignation at mining activities in the community.
Visiting the place made me all the more convinced that the Philippine government
should be very meticulous in approving mining applications, and particularly exempt
small island ecosystems from such destructive operations. Sibuyan is a beautiful
island, and that is an understatement. >read more
Island folks remember slain environmentalist
Commemorating the fifth death anniversary of slain anti-mining activist and public
servant Armin Rios Marin, friends, relatives and other advocates gathered in his
residence in Sibuyan for a silent reflection and candle-lighting ceremony.
Marin, elected municipal councilor in 2007, only served three months in service after
he was shot to death by a mining security officer of Sibuyan Nickel Properties Development
Corporation (SNPDC) during a picket against researchers commissioned by a mining
company. >read more
Mutant candidates in the making
Today, we commemorate the fifth anniversary of a man who sacrificed his life for
his people. He was elected councilor for his staunch stand to defend the fragile
ice-age island ecosystem of Sibuyan in the province of Romblon. As he joined the
island’s defenders, they successfully kicked out the world’s largest nickel mining
company. Though he only served for three months, he lived by his principles and public
trust to the last breath of his life – we have given him the power and together with
the community, nourished and made it a platform for selfless public service and payment
for ecological services. >read more
Romblon LGU rejects another mining application
Municipality of San Fernando in Sibuyan, Romblon will not participate in any process
pertaining to the application for Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) of
Fil-China Mining Development Corporation, said Mayor Dindo C. Rios.
In a letter dated last August 13 sent to Roland de Jesus, MGB Regional Director for
MIMAROPA, Mayor Rios stressed the provisions in the mining Executive Order 79 (EO
79) stating that protected areas shall be spared from mining.
San Fernando Mayor Dindo Rios in Sibuyan, Romblon, will have nothing to do with the
application for Mineral Production Sharing Agreement of Fil-China Mining Development
Corp. to extract feldspar.
In a letter dated August 13 sent to Mines and Geoscience Bureau Regional director
for MIMAROPA Roland de Jesus, he justified the town’s position citing Executive Order
79 on protected areas.
“The whole island is a protected area as a mangrove swamp forest reserve pursuant
to Presidential Proclamation 2152,” said Rios in a statement. >read more
Romblon municipality rejects mining deal
The municipality of San Fernando in Sibuyan, Romblon, will not be involved in processing
Fil-China Mining Development Corporation’s application for a mineral production sharing
agreement, Mayor Dindo C. Rios said Monday.
Fil-China submitted an application in January 1994 to the Mines Bureau for a mineral
production sharing agreement to mine and develop feldspar, a mineral used for glass
and ceramics manufacturing. >read more
'Birthdays: More fun and fearless in Sibuyan" by Gina Lopez