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Occ. Mindoro still off limits to miners

A woman lawmaker said yesterday that the island of Occidental Mindoro is keeping its anti-mining stance to protect its watersheds.

Occidental Mindoro remains “off limits” to mining to protect the province’s fragile environment, Occidental Mindoro Rep. Josephine Ramirez-Sato said.

The former Governor of Occidental Mindoro noted that Occidental Mindoro is among the first local government units (LGUs) to ban mining on a provincial-wide scale when she signed a measure imposing a 25-year mining moratorium in 2009.

“Ang paninindigan ko laban sa pagmimina ay hindi matitinag,” Sato said.

During her stint as provincial governor, Sato signed Kapisiyahan Blg. 140 affirming Panlalawigang Kautusan (Provincial Ordinance) Blg. 34-09 which imposes a 25-year mining moratorium in the entire province.

“Occidental Mindoro has a fragile environment which needs to be protected not just against mining, but all forms of destructive development projects,” Sato said.

Mindoro is home to unique plant and animal species, foremost of which is the Philippine tamaraw or the Mindoro dwarf buffalo (Bubalus mindorensis), she cited.

Sato, a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, also said it is imperative to protect and sustainably manage the country’s water resources, explaining that the Philippines is not oblivious to water crisis, despite being blessed with abundant supply of freshwater. (CHARISSA N. LUCI)