Mining seen on provincial seal will be removed

TACLOBAN CITY- Samar Governor Reynolds Michael Tan said that he is opposing to any mining activities in the province saying it contradicts the thrust of his administration.
“We are against mining because it is part of the Samar Spark Agenda that we are against mining. In fact when my mother was still alive during her first term (as governor), an ordinance was approved; a moratorium that prohibits the operation of mining in Samar,” Gov. Tan said.
“So I still stand with that. I do not want that. In fact that is very damaging to the nature (and causes) irreparable damage (to our environment),” he added.
The statement of the governor comes in the heels as a big mining company, Marcventures Holdings Inc. (MHI), is planning to operate a bauxite mining in the province whose mining claims involved the towns of Motiong, San Jose De Buan and Paranas.
Once approved by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), this will make MHI the only firm in the country to mine bauxite mineral.
MHI acquired the bauxite mine in Samar in 2016 after a merger with Asia Pilot Mining Philippines (APMPC) and the holding company of Brightgreen Resources Corp and acquiring Alumina Mining Phils. Inc. (AMPI) that holds mineral production sharing agreement179-2002- VIII (Samar Island Bauxite Reservation) with an area of 6, 694 hectares.
Tan said that since the news had come out regarding the operation of bauxite mining in the province, none of the officials from the firm had meet and talked with him to discuss and inform him about their operation.
“If they come to me then I will tell them that I do not want but I will not be reaching out to them as long as they do show interest,” the governor said.
Mining is one of the identified industries of the national government that will become an economic drivers of the country that is badly affected by the present health crisis.
The governor said that while he is aware that mining is one of the thrusts of the national government, he would still oppose and will explain it to President Rodrigo Duterte on his firm stand on the issue.
“Being the governor, I am duty bound to protect the interest of residents of Samar and the future generation so I will do that, but if they will insist, if they something good that can help develop Samar then I am willing to listen also,” he added.
And as a testament that he is opposing any mining activity, their provincial seal which depicts mining as one of Samar’s major industries would be removed.
The province has task the provincial legislative members to change the design on their seal and forward it to the National Historical Commission for approval.
Tan said that he proposed that the image of the Philippine eagle be included in the new provincial seal design as it was in the province, in the town of Paranas where the mighty bird was first recorded in the country in 1986.
Another action of the province was to issue a cease and desist order to all quarrying operations in the province because some of the operators are actually doing mining, he said.
The governor, however, was not able to provide the number of quarry operation that was affected by the order.