Sibuyan Townsfolk Plead Help as Mining Scuffle Happen in the Island

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Sibuyan Island Mining Situation (Photo Credits belong to Cort Catajay as published in Romblon News Network social channels.)

Things have certainly gone pretty violent at Sibuyan Island in Romblon when environmentalists and townsfolk have tried to stop trucks from going out to port and faced personnel who tried to dismantle their barricade. Videos have already been shown in GMA News Online as published last February 3rd and social posts on Twitter when tensions from parties increased.

According to recent reports this February 10th, the Philippine Ports Authority GM Jay Santiago confirmed that they didn't give permits for ports or ship docks to Altai Philippines Mining Corporation (supposedly owned by William Gatchalian)  in the said island. This was said during the Dos Por Dos program of Anthony Taberna and Gerry Baja. He also had instructed the local Port Management Office in Batangas who has jurisdiction in the province and require no permits be issued until resolution be made with the mining company's operations in Sibuyan Island. It would also require them to get DENR clearance, approval from local government too with regards to its foreshore lease. Santiago also confirmed they had previously applied for it but no requirements have been submitted to this date. Any operation without it will be deemed illegal according to the General Manager as their facilities are unregistered.

A local Barangay official was reported to also be handcuffed during the date of the protest but later released. According to reports, they are part of the residents of the island who have seen nickel being transported from the area - this of which they have heavily resisted since late January 2023. The government should certainly intervene with the situation and see how the resources in the area be not abused, and restraint be exercised for the safety of those who live in the area. Pretty sure they only want flora and fauna be saved for them and their children's children.


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