The Marinduque Council for Environmental Concerns (MACEC) called on the national government to declare Marinduque a mining-free zone and remove the island province in the Mimaropa region from the list of priority mining areas.
The group is opposing the proposal to have 1,343.74 hectares from 5 barangays in Mogpog, Marinduque declared as a Mineral Reserve Area and vowed to reject any proposed mining in Mogpog and other towns.
Instead, the group is calling on the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to lead the rehabilitation of Mogpog and other affected communities on the island.
“Mogpoguenos will never forget the destruction of the Maguila-guila Siltation Dam of Marcopper that brought about floods and caused the loss of property and livelihoods of the residents as well as the loss of lives of two innocent children,” Elizabeth Manggol, executive secretary of MACEC, said in a statement.
Until now, the group alleged that the mining company has not admitted any culpability for the destruction and has instead put the blame on nature.
“Those affected were not even given compensation except for 500 pesos worth of assistance,” Manggol said.
The Mogpog River has been declared dead due to the lack of rehabilitation, she said.
“Thirty years have passed since the tragedy but still there is no justice among those affected.” She added that “Marcopper was not held accountable for the damages it caused.”
“Marinduque can no longer be a mining area as its carrying capacity has been compromised and affected by previous mining activities,” she said.
MACEC’s statement noted that apart from local resolutions, the Mimaropa Regional Development Council has also issued a resolution “favorably endorsing the initiative to declare the province of Marinduque as a mining-free zone.”
“The people of Marinduque have suffered too much already from the ill effects of mining. The national government and the DENR must listen to the pleas of the residents and declare the province as a mining-free zone,” said Jaybee Garganera, national coordinator of the anti-mining group Alyansa Tigil Mina.