Yesterday, with some 300 students, I went to vote at the first ever forum on BLACK SAND MINING at the Northwestern University New Media Hall.
Ilocanos protested all forms of mining at the Ilocos Norte Provincial Capitol’s Sangguniang Panlalawigan Hall back in June (here). In spite of Board Member Joel Garcia’s withdrawal of his infamous resolution (here), the threat of black sand mining in the province continues to hang over.
Representing DEFEND Ilocos, Madonna Rabang Peta was instrumental in bringing an art and photo exhibit by students in Ilocos Sur. Also one of the panelists, she gave a clear-cut presentation of the mining status in the Ilocos Region
Co-guest panelist Arthur Valente of the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte says — there should be more follow-ups for fora on environmental threats and degradation, especially for the young minds to ponder on.
Anti-mining advocates, Ilocos Times columnist Steve Barreiro and Patrick Cerezo of the Kabataan party-list served as reactors.
Atty. Joel Garcia assured the attendees that he will not support black sand mining, not now, and in the future, garnering him a courteous applause.
Says Shermon Cruz, convenor of the black sand mining forum, organized by the KWAGO Society.
The “revealing” discussion on Black Sand Mining this afternoon is bit better in “content and context” than the SP Public Hearing we had a few months back. What was presented were real data, assessments, intensive research, case studies, immersion experiences, personal stories, legal and media views on black sand mining and its real (not potential) impacts. Students, professors and concerned citizens were exposed to real NGO-GO-GA-NGA-PO-Party list-Media talks and dynamics of mining (small and large scale), quarrying, public safety and risks, environmental governance, government enforcement issues, impact to poverty incidence, food security, public safety, resilience, climate change and others. Student questions were direct and reactions were straight to the point.
Sharing my journey as a LEAD Movement member.Taking out the black in black sand and the verdant in nature.
Photos by DEFEND Ilocos, LEAD Movement , Shermon Cruz and BlauEarth
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