Posted 4 months ago
SUBIC, Zambales —The mayor as well as the members of the municipal council of this town have expressed strong opposition for the planned “jade mining” in one of the villages here.
By Patrick Roxas
Mayor Jay Khonghun said he doesn’t believe the proponent company will only do quarrying, and that this is only a front and could result in the destruction of the environment of his beautiful town.
“I’m that afraid if they insist on doing mining in my town there could be trouble, I hope not,” Khonghun said.
The town’s vice mayor JB Felarca has revealed money was offered to him and other members of the municipal council in exchange for the alleged illegal mining operation.
Felarca identified the firm as Philippine Yuanding International Trade Corp. (PYITC) owned by a certain Basilio Jumig of Barangay Batonlapoc in Botolan, Zambales.
He said the mining company used corrupt employees of the provincial government in the bribery attempt but the town council unanimously rejected it.
Subic residents were reportedly shocked and strongly protested when the provincial government issued a special extraction permit on April 25, 2017 to PYITC.
The said company was also given a permit by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for quarrying activities on a 5-hectare land said to be very rich in gemstones.
Arthuro Garcia, chairman of Barangay Cawag, has also allegedly issued a permit to PYITC for the jade mining operation without first conducting public consultations.
Residents of the said barangay are reportedly closely monitoring the situation to ensure the protection of the environment and peaceful living in the village.
A public consultation was scheduled last June 18, 2017 in Sitio Nagyantok, Barangay Cawag on the planned mining operation in the area but no representatives from PYITC and the provincial government of Zambales attended.
Efforts were made to reach PYITC and provincial officials to comment on the issue but Subic Sun has received no reply as of press time.
First Published: subicsun.com