Zamboanga mayors seek moratorium exemption for mining firm


SIOCON, Zamboanga del Norte—Officials of three municipalities in the Zamboanga Peninsula have warned President Aquino of an impending economic downturn if a mining company which has been operating in the area for decades is  forced to close down its operation next year.

The municipalities of Siocon and  Baliguian in Zamboanga del Norte and RT Lim in Zamboanga Sibugay, which are located in the vicinity of the mining operations of TVI Resources Development (Phils.) Inc.,  an affiliate  of a reputable Canadian mining company, are largely dependent  on the local taxes, employment, and delivery of basic social services that the company has been providing local residents for almost a decade now.

In their letters of appeal to the President, Mayors  Cesar C. Soriano of Siocon,  Gani Esmali of Baliguian town  and Michael A. Piodena of RT Lim said the imminent adverse impact on their communities can only be avoided if President Aquino will grant a special exemption from Executive Order No. 79 that would allow TVIRD to expand its mining agreement to a property adjacent to its present mining site.

They said a satellite ore deposit existing within trucking distance from the TVIRD’s Canatuan project could potentially add several years of mine life to the operation—if the company would  be  allowed to access it.

On the other hand, all the 25 barangay (village) captains of Siocon, in their  appeal to President Aquino, expressed fears  that “unless  the special exemption is approved, TVIRD will be forced to shut down its operation and with it, all assistance and support to the community, including the maintenance of infrastructure such as the provincial road, the countless farm-to-market roads, bridges and spillways, livelihood projects, etc.”

Peace and order

In addition, Soriano expressed concern over the possible stoppage  in the maintenance of security along the region’s roads, provided by TVIRD. “The  security support provided by the company is crucial in maintaining peace and order and security in the area,” he said

TVIRD operates a copper-zinc mining inside the ancestral domain of the indigenous Subanon tribe in Canatuan, Siocon in Zamboanga del Norte and expects to cease operations at the end of its mine life in the middle of next year.

However, it has identified significant copper deposits in the nearby area in Malusok, Baliguian town and applied to operate  the site  since last year.

The Subanons, who own the land under the Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title, gave their consent to the application on May 15, 2011.

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  • Jimmy

    Mahigit ng isang taon na humihingi ang mga tao sa Zamboanga para mag – operate ang isang minahan dahil yon lang ang kanilang pag-asa at hanapbuhay…! Ang TVIRD ay isang responsableng kompanya, ay bakit naman hindi ito payagan..??? Mahigit ng isang taon wala pang desisyon..! Anong klase kayong namamahala sa gobyerno…!!!!?????

    • Rosemarie

       excuse me? may responsableng mina ba? heller? oo nga, ang mina ang pag-asa at hanap buhay ng mga tao sa Zamboanga, pero mawawala din ang sinasabi mong PAG-ASA AT HANAP BUHAY nila pag dumating na ang sakuna.. tapos, sisisihin na naman ang gobyerno?..TSK.TSK.TSK… MGA PILIPINO TALAGA…

  • dequis

    dapat iyang mining company na iyan doon sila mag mina sa isthmus na naguugnay sa zamboanga peninsula sa kaubuuan ng mindanao mula panguil bay hanggang yliana bay ba ang tawag dian sa kabilang side, ubusin nila ang lupa hukayin nila nang hukayin hanggang sa makalikha sila ng canal nang mapalapit ang pagadian, cotabato at iba pang bayan sa dalampasigan ng moro gulf — mapalapit sa maynila at cebu hindi na kelangang umikot pa sa zamboanga city kung barko man. sigurado ako wala kahit isang Catholic Bishop o isang NGO ang tututol. madamidami din ang ginto dian: sa isang dumptruck na lupa makakakuha ng gintong kasinlaki ng dalawang kulangot sa umaga.

  • pinoypiston

    Mayor Soriano will move heaven and earth to keep this mining company in town.  He made his fortunes, and very very lots of it, when this TVI came to town.  Now he owns virtually every lucrative business in his town.  For sure, a local chief executive’s salary cannot build it all.  Or did he received lots of millions as separation/retirement pay from ABS CBN when he signed off as a field news reporter?  Tama lang yan tigilan na operation ng TVI.  Open pit mining yan sila.  Malaki pinsala sa environment.  Bakit, ibabalik ba nila ang bundok na hinakot nila?  Kayong hindi mga taga Zamboanga del Norte, ok lang siguro sa inyo ang open pit mining. Pero para sa amin na mga lumad na mga taga Zambo Norte, permanent destruction yan sa kabundukan namin.

  • isalexus

    Jeeeez!! Finally the benefits of mining coming to fore!! SO where are those Bishops and other anti-mining NGOs– they should come forth and offer their solution to mitigate the pending negative impact in stopping the mine operation. Let the Bishops and eco-ngo’s counter the—- “largely dependent on the local taxes, employment, and delivery of basic social services that the company has been providing local residents for almost a decade now. ” !!! HELLLLLOOOOO Gina Lopez where are you????

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