ZAMBALES MINES: A HISTORY OF QUESTIONABLE PRACTICES
BETWEEN the pro-mining students protesting against the Department of Environment and and the insistence that we talk only about the jobs to be lost and the are being distracted from the more important questions about whether or not the mining projects that the DENR has ordered closed have in fact been bad for the environment and our communities.
- adversely affected the environment and the communities that are in close proximity to the mines.
Case in point: Zambales.
2012: destructive mining
mission on the effects of mining on communities in Sta. Cruz Zambales. They found that the repercussions on the livelihood and health of the community outweighed whatever mining projects.
Working for the mines might mean higher salaries but even the community realized that what they were getting in exchange was environmental degradation: rivers and creeks were stagnant with orange-red was infected; rice farms that could produce 70 to 100 cavans per hectare 30 to 50 cavans; irrigation with red water produces hard-as-cement soil that renders the farm unproductive forests in the Sta. Cruz mountains are from pumps cause skin diseases and
- mosphere here is intolerable as trucks that carry ore from the mining site are The armed private security guards are - ing people from getting supplies from the forest and mountains (Bulatlat.
issued a writ of kalikasan against - environment by cutting mountain trees and leveling a mountain to the damage and detriment of the residents of Zambales without any of the concerned government agencies and
of the Zambales mines listed by the
2014, 2015: Suspension, floods
the aforementioned mines plus
“unsystematic strip mining” (Rappler. com, July 4, 2014). In December 2014, the gave the mines permits to transport ore, saying this was needed to rehabilitate and compensate communities and prevent disaster. In February 2015, the suspension was temporarily lifted; mining companies had 90 days to comply with requirements in the suspension order (Business Mirror, June 18, 2015).
numerous complaints for the pollution (Business Mirror, June 2015).
- lino: “With the rain that poured in our but the volume of red mud is a different case. We think nickel laterite may second time that we experienced this, the dams of mining companies were had these kinds of problems since mining started in 2011” (Human Rights
Seven residents died in those “head - lands destroyed (Rappler.com, February
2016: Mining vs community
together against mining companies national highway. Note that in 2014 and 2015, the mining companies had an agreement with local governments to build roads that lead to their sites; the mining companies did not build roads and continued to use the national highway (Rappler.com, February 10, 2016).
- bers of the community for blocking their mining companies would continue (Bulatlat.com, March 2, 2016).
- declared that “the ecological destruction caused by the decade-long nickel min natural calamities” (Bulatlat.com, March 4, 2016).
- that they were not hurting the environment (Rappler.com, June 21, 2016).
In July 2016, the new DENR led by
In February 2017, the two mines plus of mines ordered closed by the DENR.
available sources, allows one to make have been ordered closed by the DENR. on science to prove the adverse effects of mines on the environment, that must be balanced out with the history of protest against these mines, based as this is on the science of environmental degradation and the lives of people who have suffered in the hands of these mines.
- sponsible as they insist they are, there would be no need for spin or propaganda on the “good” they are doing.