MAC: Mines and Communities

Five Mining Firms Ordered Closed In Zambales

Published by MAC on 2007-07-31
Source: The Philippine Star ()

Five mining firms ordered closed in Zambales

By Ding Cervantes, The Philippine Star - http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/storypage.aspx?StoryId=86468

31st July 2007

STA. CRUZ, Zambales – Gov. Amor Deloso has ordered the closure of the alleged illegal operations of at least five mining firms in this province, including that of a Taiwanese company engaged in exporting high-priced local minerals abroad.

Deloso ordered the closure after he and joint elements of the Philippine Army and local police, recently inspected the mountainous mining sites situated in far-flung areas of Barangays Guisguis and Guinabon.

Earlier, Task Force Kalikasan, which he created, reported unabated illegal quarrying of precious minerals such as nickel, manganese and high-valued platinum in the areas.

Deloso ordered the closure of the mining sites being operated by A3 UNA, San Juanico, Maxwell, KNG and Taiwanese firm, Arcman International.

"These mining operators are taking away our precious minerals and resources without giving any benefit from the province," Deloso said.

He added that mining firms should be obliged to provide "socio-economic benefits" and compensation package, particularly to nearby local communities affected by its operations.

"Not even a single community project was implemented by these mining firms," he said.

Deloso also ordered the closure of a private pier along the coast of Barangay Balitok, which was reportedly being used by the mining operators to haul and transport the minerals.

Task Force Kalikasan was tasked to investigate the social and economic impact on affected communities caused by mining activities in the province.

"We welcome good investors in our province but we will no longer tolerate businessmen who would only think of robbing our natural resources and not pay due taxes," Deloso said.

"This is part of our program called social re-engineering that would focus on the improvement of the living standard of our local residents," Deloso said.

In its initial report, Task Force Kalikasan cited the "abuses of some mining companies and the alarming effect of its operations on the environment and residents." It also reported the significant increase of mining companies.

The task force said that new mining operations have become rampant in the towns of Castillejos, San Marcelino, San Antonio, Cabangan, Botolan, Masinloc, Candelaria and Sta. Cruz.

"Zambales is known for its abundance in natural resources, which attract many local and foreign investors but none of these companies have brought in economic progress to the province," Deloso said.

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