MIPC maintains that they are not destroying environment
TACLOBAN CITY- A parish priest who openly opposes mining activity in MacArthur town in Leyte province said that he has the support of Archbishop John Du of the Palo Archdiocese.
Fr. Amadeo Alvero, parish priest of the St.Isidore Parish of MacArthur town, said that the archbishop was aware that there is a black sand activity in the town and one of his reminders to him include to protect and preserve the environment of the town, about 60 kms away from here.
“The archbishop, during his visit to MacArthur, is aware that there is mining activity there and saw personally its bad effects. He asked me to oppose any such activity and he has given me his support on this,” Alvero said on Monday during a press conference.
On Monday, Alvero led a motorcade from MacArthur to the offices of DENR-MGB (Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Mines and Geosciences Bureau) to express their protest on the mining activity in MacArthur.
The DENR-MGB has granted MacArthur Iron Project Corp. (MIPC) a mining claims of 2,000 hectares September of this year.
The 2,000 mining claims covers the towns of MacArthur, Javier and Abuyog. In MacArthur, MIPC mining claims is around 500 hectares located in Barangay Maya.
Alvero said that he is opposing the mining activity as this could lead to the destruction of the environment like flooding in Maya, which he described as a ‘prime agricultural area.’
Januar Ong, community relation manager of the MIPC, said that their company is not yet engaging in commercial operation but still on a ‘test run’ of their equipment.
Ong said that while they were granted the MPSA or the mineral production sharing agreement by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) back in 2007, they have not actually conducted their commercial operations.
“What we have right now is test run and debugging activity of our equipment and in our plant. We have not started or conducted any mining activity or actual commercial operations,” he said.
The company also asserted that they have all the necessary permits from concerned government agencies.
Ong also said that there is no possibility that flooding could result to their mining activity saying that a creek located nearby has been dredged by the company to ensure that in case of heavy rains, it would not overflow.
Also, they have planted bamboos along the creek as part of their river bank stabilization program.
Ong, however, could not say as when they could actually conduct their business operation except to say that China is one of their markets.
(JOEY A. GABIETA)