SC issues ‘Writ of Kalikasan’ vs large scale mining in Ilocos-Pangasinan

A PROGRESSIVE lawmaker called the Supreme Court decision to grant a “Writ of Kalikasan” against large-scale mining operations along the Ilocos-Pangasinan coast a breakthrough that would pave the way for the stoppage of more black sand mining operations in the country.

“This decision will also make other local government units and people’s organization more assertive of their rights on their lands and resources which is very good for our environment,” Partylist Rep. Teddy Casiño said.

It can be remembered that local government officials and hundreds of local residents are against the magnetite mining operations in the area since it would destroy the foreshore lands and coastlines of Lingayen, diminish fish catch and bring untold disasters when natural calamities strike.

“The residents of Aparri, Buguey, Lallo, Camalaniugan, and Gonzaga towns of Cagayan province have also been opposing the magnetite mining operations that have caused destruction of crops, diminished fish catches, community inundation, erosion of river banks, and related human rights violations in the area. Thousands of people have already been calling for the stoppage of black sand mining operations allegedly owned by Chinese and South Korean investors. Currently, there are at least four magnetite mining companies in Cagayan operating along the shores of the Cagayan River and along the coastal areas of Aparri, Buguey, Gonzaga and Sta. Ana towns,” he explained.

He authored House Resolution 2097 urging the Committee on Natural Resources conduct an investigation, in aid of legislation, on the allegedly illegal black sand mining operations that are adversely affecting the foreshorelands, shorelines and ecosystems in Pangasinan, Cagayan and other provinces in the country. He is also the author of House Bill 4726 which seeks to close areas declared by local government units (LGUs) as No-Mining Zones from mining applications and operations, amending for the purpose the Philippine Mining Act of 1995.

The lawmaker is also a petitioner on the genetically modified eggplants or BT eggplants, another case that was granted a writ of kalikasan recently.

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