Green groups score victory against mining in central Philippines

July 5, 2023

Pro-environment groups scored a victory against destructive extraction in the central Philippines after the high court issued a “writ of kalikasan” against the proponents. 

In a resolution dated June 13, the Supreme Court issued the writ against Altai Philippines Mining Corporation (APMC), the country’s environment department, and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) over the nickel mining operations on Sibuyan Island in Romblon province.

Rodne Galicha, executive director of Living Laudato Si Philippines, said the issuance of the writ “is a significant and strategic step to protect Sibuyan Island, its delicate ecosystems, and peaceful peoples.”

A writ of kalikasan is a legal remedy designed for the protection of one’s constitutional right to a healthy environment.

Galicha said the plight of the people in Sibuyan “will not end here,” adding, “We will continue to mobilize until all permits and applications to mine the island are revoked.” 

Early this year, Sibuyan residents set up a barricade to stop the transport of nickel ore from what they claimed as “illegal mining operations”. On February 3, police in riot gear tried to break the barricade to allow trucks loaded with nickel ore.

“Sibuyanons have been fighting to protect the island since 2015. One had already martyred,” said Galicha who urged the public to join Sibuyan “in this crusade against exploiters”.

In February, the Catholic clergy of Sibuyan warned of “tragic consequences” if the nickel mining project pushed through on the island, often referred to as the “Galapagos of Asia” because of its rich biodiversity.

“Unchecked human activity will have its tragic consequences, running the risk of destroying nature, thus running the risk of destroying humanity,” read the priests’ statement.

“Land is life. Water is life. We only have one world to live in. Let us protect the environment! Let us protect nature! No to mining!” it added.

Also in February, the environment department issued a “cease and desist” order against the mining proponent and ordered the suspension of the company’s Ore Transport Permit.

Related Articles

Will climate become an ‘election issue’ in 2025?

Will climate become an ‘election issue’ in 2025?

Will 2025 finally be the year? The climate crisis has never been more relevant, from the halls of Congress to daily living. The impacts of extreme heat are increasingly being felt at the household level, from the suspension of classes to concerns about the supply of...

The biggest killers of Filipinos: Fossil fuels and vehicles

The biggest killers of Filipinos: Fossil fuels and vehicles

The reliance of the world economy on the burning of fossil fuels, oil, and gas continues to drive up global temperatures. The sweltering heat of the past three months is just a small indication of what it will be like in the years to come. Every year is hotter than...

Synodality and its Silences 

Synodality and its Silences 

Why the deafening silence? How can we not listen? Why are we not protesting? Who is accountable and how can we make them accountable? What do we need to do?

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This