NO to mining! Protect Sibuyan Island at all costs!

Wednesday, February 08, 2023

Did you know that Sibuyan Island is dubbed as the Galapagos of Asia? 

Photo credits to Mimaropa- The Destination of Choice Facebook page 

Sibuyan Island is known as a mysteriously majestic island. The island is challenging to reach, but it surely is a worthwhile destination. Apart from its rich biodiversity — with a variety of both endemic and non-endemic plants and animals — the island is also home to majestic sites such as a remote islet with a stunning sandbar called Cresta de Gallo; Mt. Guiting-Guiting, one of the most challenging mountains to climb; considered as one of the cleanest bodies of water in the country, Cantingas River; and the exhilarating Busay Falls.

These are just some of the tourist spots that can be explored when you visit Romblon but unfortunately, this once peaceful and remote island is gradually being violated by greedy and manipulative people who doesn't value nature, the animals and even the locals. 

Photo credits to Rappler
Last man standing. Photo by Inquirer

Just recently, the residents of Sibuyan Island have vehemently opposed Altai’s operations in their area, going as far as blocking roads to stop trucks carrying illegally extracted soil and logs from leaving the island. This was all over the news and social media sparking a major outcry for what has got to be the most critical moment, even as far as risking their own lives just to stop the mining. 

Netizens also shared their disgust and protests about the said mining even tagging those who they intend to send their protests. The church and media outlets have also shared their own sentiments regarding the issue. Check out some of them below:

Updates from Rodne Galicha 

Romblon News Network also shares the latest news about Sibuyan Island. 

The group Alyansa Tigil Mina highlighted Gatchalian’s involvement in Altai, noting that his son Kenneth is a director of Altai’s parent firm. Kenneth is the brother of Sentor Sherwin Gatchalian and new Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has ordered Altai Philippines Mining, a firm owned by “Plastics King” William Gatchalian, to stop its operations in Romblon due to lack of permits.

The DENR issued the order stopping Altai’s operations on Saturday after locals clashed with police in their quest to halt the mining activities.

Aerial shots courtesy of Cort Catajay

Despite the issued order, Altai already created a major damage with wildlife completely wipe out in mined portions of Sibuyan Island despite not having environmental clearance certificate. 

Let us help the community of Sibuyan Island fight for this cause because this is not just their fight but this is a national crisis. No to mining in Sibuyan! In solidarity with Sibuyanons, environmentalists, and everyone who cares about Sibuyan Island and Mt. Guiting-Guiting. This is a call for an ultimate halt to mining activities in one of our most biodiverse and vulnerable islands. 

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