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Deloso temporarily suspends mining in Zambales

Zambales Gov. Amor Deloso has issued a moratorium temporarily halting all mining operations in his province. The Executive Order he issued covers the whole province, municipalities of Sta. Cruz, Candelaria and Masinloc, to allow fresh consultations with residents of communities directly affected by Typhoon Lando and continuing mining threats.

The massive floods triggered by Typhon Lando and other calamities a gew years back, left human casualties and extensive damage to properties, infrastructures, fisheries and agriculture.

Seriously ravaged were areas where the floods carried enormous volumes of topsoil disturbed by mining. Volumes of reddish brown earth materials were were piled by the inundations in farmlands, roads, and residential areas.

The typhoon season has now come but the DENR Mines and Geosciences Bureau has not yet issued the requested mining moratorium in Zambales. Its people are apprehensive of the recurrence of mining-enhanced disasters again.

Mining companies, Deloso laments, have been operating in Zambales for decades but no Zambalenos have become millionaires. Acoje has been mining chromite for 75 years; Coto Mines, gold, 50 years; and four others, including Benguet Corp., Int. Archipelogo Mining Corp., Zambales Diversified Metals Corp., and Eramen Minerals Inc. (EMI). Last month, the Supreme Court issued a Writ of Kalikasan against the firms, including Shanghai Mining and Trading Corp and has directed the Court of Appeals to conduct hearings to determine if a Temporary Environmental Protection Order is warranted.

The Local Government Code empowers Provincial Governors to take emergency measures when necessary when man-made and natural disasters happen.

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My sincerest appreciation to Tuguegarao Archbishop Emeritus Diosdado Talamayan, DD, for his very inspiring letter relative to the passing of a very dear friend, Ambassador Antonio L. Cabangon Chua, excerpt of which, follows:

“I am aware of the role you played in the life and success of our common friend, Amba Tony Cabangon Chua. So it was a joy to see you at his 40th day of flight. . . He was my friend, benefactor and spiritual brother. He helped people and the church. When I reflect on his life, I conclude Charity is alive. Let’s continue our support and prayers for his blood and mega family, that they continue his legacy of service and values.”

Thank you, Your Excellency, Archbishop Talamayan. Thank you too for your benediction to my wife Ofelia, my family and loved ones. (Johnny Dayang)