Letters to the Editor,
This is a reaction to the news article titled “Filipino climate change activist tells world: We can do something” last October 31 and indeed we agree with Rodne Galicha that we can do something to stop climate change. It may start in our own little way but we must take into account that big corporations’ particularly big foreign mining corporations operating in the country have much to answer for in the current state of our climate and environment.
Take the case of the horrific toxic spills in Rapu-rapu Island six years ago which resulted to the second fish kill in the area and caused an extreme decline in fish catch of fishermen. It was so vast that even the fish sanctuary in Sito Gaba, Batan, Rapu-Rapu was not able to sustain the fish population in Albay Gulf.
What we fear now is that the same thing may happen in Matnog, Sorsogon as there is a rampant and destructive mining operation in the area. It is not far off that the disaster that happened in Rapu-rapu will again be repeated in Matnog and here are the facts:
Based on Lafayette’s application, Rapu-Rapu’s total land area of 5, 589 hectares, 4, 486.48 hectares or 80.3% of its total land area will be dug up. Also Rapu-Rapu’s large scale mining operation was hailed as the flagship project and among the 24 Priority Development Projects of the former Arroyo administration and Lafayette’s full mining operation took off in 2005 through its two Rapu-Rapu based companies which are Rapu-Rapu Minerals, Inc. (RRMI) and Rapu-Rapu Processing Inc., (RRPI).
On the other hand, Matnog, Sorsogon Mining under Thomas Ranola applied for small scale mining operation covering Baranggays Sinalmacan, Poropandan, Culasi and Poblacion with 742.0854 hectares. While Peniel Resources Mining Corporation exploration application for magnetite sand and other related minerals covered 12, 616 hectares covering municipalities of Matnog, Bulusan, Magdalena and Bulan.
Yes we agree with Galicia that something must be done to stop climate change but some like Lafayette Mining Corporation have to do more. We are now commemorating our departed loves ones but we must also remember what happened in Rapu-Rapu island due to Lafayette mining and learn from it because in the long run it will not only cause fish kills but will take the lives and livelihood of our loved ones as well.
Beverly Q. Ala
PANGATAMAN-BIKOL (Center for Environmental Protection)
06 Nov. 2011