MAC: Mines and Communities

Marcopper's San Antonio Copper Project Delisted From Mining Priority List

Published by MAC on 2007-01-18
Source: MACEC News and Information Service

Marcopper's San Antonio Copper Project Delisted from Mining Priority List

Press Release MACEC News and Information Service

18th January 2007

BOAC, MARINDUQUE - The Marinduque Council for Environmental Concerns (MACEC), a church-based organization which strongly campaigns for making Marinduque a mining-free province, announces the official 'delisting' or removal by the DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) of Marcopper's San Antonio Copper Project from the 24 mining priority projects being promoted by the Arroyo administration through the DENR's Mines and Geosciences Bureau and other agencies of the government.

MACEC Executive Secretary Myke Magalang said that "this is a product of the people's strong solidarity and unity in their struggle for environmental and economic justice. But this is also a challenge to every Marinduqueño and their public officials to come together and design or come up with clear and feasible sustainable development blueprint for the province that is not dependent on mining."

The official announcement is contained in a communication from Director Horacio C. Ramos of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau dated December 19, 2007 and addressed to Most Rev. Reynaldo G. Evangelista, D.D., Bishop of Boac.

The letter was in response to the Marinduque Declaration which called on the Arroyo administration to delist the said project. The Declaration, an advocacy project of MACEC, was initially signed by the Bishop himself, the MACEC Provincial Executive Chairman Msgr. Senen Malapad, Marinduque Governor Carmencita O. Reyes and Marinduque Lone District Representative Congressman Edmundo O. Reyes. The Declaration was supporterd by more than 10,000 signatures of Marinduqueños.

Before leaving Marinduque for the Plenary Assembly of the Catholic Bishops'; Conference of the Philippines, Bishop Reynaldo G. Evangelista admits that he was "deeply moved by the turn of events." He also congratulated MACEC and all those who worked hard to get the nod of the DENR Officials in removing the mining project in Marinduque from the proposed priority mining tenements.

Bishop Evangelista reminded MACEC "to intensify the environmental campaigns in the diocese and ensure that we are always aware of all developments especially now that there are already applications for small-scale mining projects."

He also sent his gratitude to all local government officials who supported the call for the removal of the San Antonio Copper Project and reminded them to "unite all efforts as we rehabilitate our Island-province after the devastation we suffered from supertyphoon Reming and lead the way, in harmony with the efforts of the Church, to a dynamic and integral human development."

Magalang noted that MACEC "is still waiting for the official action of the President on the request of the Bishop, the local government officials and the 10,765 signatories to the Marinduque Declaration. It is but proper that the president should issue special order or similar document declaring the official removal of the San Antonio Copper Project from her priority mining projects because it was included in the list by former DENR Secretary Mike Defensor in accordance with Executive Order 270 issued by Malacañang and its implementing Rules."

He finally emphasized that "despite the delisting of the San Antonio Copper Project, we will still pursue our campaign for environmental and economic justice especially by demanding from Marcopper Mining Corporation the payment of more than One Billion Pesos in local taxes which should have been used by the province in its development initiatives."

Second Floor, Cathedral Compound, High Town, Boac, 4900 Marinduque
Tel. Nos. (042) 332-2713

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