BORONGAN CITY–The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Eastern Samar approved a resolution expressing support and interposing no objection to the resolutions passed by four barangays in Manicani island, and the Sangguniang Bayan of Guiuan, supporting the renewal of the Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) of Hinatuan Mining Corporation (HMC).
They also call for the lifting of the suspension of mining operations of HMC in Manicani.
In the resolution, the SP said that “evidence was shown that HMC has been responsible and proactive in attending to our environment and social concerns and it is apparent that some of the issues previously raised for the suspension lack scientific basis”.
“HMC has committed itself to emulate the best practices of Nickel Asia in Rio Tuba, Palawan, especially on the rehabilitation, employment generation, social and health services and community development in Manicani”, they further said.
The SP added that for “fifteen years, our constituents have already lost the opportunity to benefit from sustainable and responsible mining as practiced by HMC–from lost income to lost social development management programs to lost CSR projects and activities”.
“The renewal of the MPSA and resumption of mining operations will greatly benefit our community through the employment of our people and implementation of various programs of HMC… The resolutions passed by the four barangays, and the SB of Guiuan are concrete manifestations that our constituents are in favor of the renewal of the MPSA and resumption of mining,” the SP said further.
Resolution 17-241 was approved during the SP session on October 9, 2017.
Acting Vice Governor Jonas Abuda temporarily relinquished his post as presiding officer to be able to participate in the deliberation.
Eight board members, namely, Byron Suyot, Karen Alvarez, Joji Montallana, Annabelle Capito, Nestorio Cablao, Jaime Ty, Aldwin Aklao and Maximo Zacate voted in favor, while only Jonas Abuda voted against the measure.
The HMC operation in Manicani was suspended by the MGB-DENR in May 2001 and is applying for the renewal of their MPSA which will expire on October 28, this year.
The clergy of Borongan and some pro-environment groups have accused HMC of violating environmental laws in its mining operations in Manicani Island. They have also registered strong objection to the renewal of HMC’s MPSA. (Eden Cidro/Este News)