CALAPAN CITY, Oriental Mindoro, March 8 (PIA) – About 5,000 people of Mindoro recently gathered to join the anti-mining thanksgiving rally with Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Gina Lopez at the Oriental Mindoro National High School (OMNHS) gymnasium.
The celebratory demonstration of Mindoreños in the event showed support following Secretary Lopez’s recent cancellation of the sharing agreement and compliance certificate of a foreign mining company operating nationwide.
Lopez emphasized in her statement that Mindoro can serve as best example in the country to be free from mining and that people of Mindoro should work at caring for the environment together with DENR.
Likewise, Lopez promoted DENR’s programs on planting mangroves and bamboos, as well as environment conservation. She also expressed her love and sympathy to Mindoreños as she felt people’s acceptance and appreciate the crowd’s massive applause when her name was called to render her speech.
“We claim victory over Intex Resources and Mindoro Nickel Project. Yet another history made by Mindoreños through their passion to protect our watersheds and food security, and ultimately national patrimony,” said Rev. Ian Loid delos Santos, spokesperson of the alliance Kaisahan ng mga Mindoreño Laban sa Dayuhan at Dambuhalang Pagmimina (KALASMINA).
“Lopez is exemplifying an outstanding performance as environment secretary. Though legislation is not her job, Lopez can do as much pressure to push for better reforms, including the repeal of Mining Act and enactment of People’s Mining Bill,” delos Santos added.
Moreover, thanksgiving rally was supported by local government units with the presence of Gov. Alfonso V. Umali, Jr. of Oriental Mindoro and Gov. Gene Mendiola of Occidental Mindoro together with the Mayors of the two provinces of Mindoro.
The presence of various Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), students and teachers from the public high school and colleges of Calapan City, the Mangyans of Mindoro, employees of the Provincial Government of Oriental Mindoro, farm workers, priests, seminarians, religious groups, medical professionals, mountaineers, civic clubs, among others showed full support to make the provinces of Mindoro free from the entries of any mining firm in the future. This has been a more than two-decade crusade of the people of Mindoro. (LTC/KALASMINA/PIA-Mimaropa/Calapan)