Bantoxics, an international NGO that strongly advocates global mercury-free mining particularly on artisanal and small-scale mining (ASSM), calls on Canada to get back the waste that they dump more than a year ago in the Philippines.
Jimbea Lucino, Bantoxics spokesperson, made the call after the Forum on Mercury-Free Mining held at T’boli Municipal Gymnasium on May 19.
Lucino disclosed that Canada dumped 50 container vans of “hazardous and infectious waste” in the country and until today, is still stored in the port area of Manila.
“Aside, from the hazard brought about by these wastes, the country spends taxpayer’s money for the storage of these wastes,’ Lucino stressed.
The appeal was first for Mindanao, according to Lucino, with T’boli as the launching pad.
Participants of the one-day forum, joined the indignation with some wearing t-shirts with the message printed on it, “Canada Take Back Your Waste” (Hindi Kami Basurahan).
Meanwhile, the Mercury-free Mining Forum in which Bantoxics is also a partner, was attended by more than a hundred ASSM operators, processors, miners and other stakeholders.
The Provincial Environment Management Office (PEMO), Integrated Provincial Health office (IPHO) and DENR-EMB and DENR-MGB in region 12 technical personnel served as the forum’s Resource Persons.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Rogelio Aturdido presented health issues regarding the use of mercury in ASSM activities, while technical personnel of DENR-MGB Mary Ann Tenorio and DENR-EMB Dr.Sophie Manuel took turns in discussing the Environmental Laws that govern mercury ban in gold processing.
Likewise, Nencita Acain, former OIC of PEMO’s Environment Management Division and now Supervising Administrative Officer of its Mining and Geo-Sciences Division, also discussed with the participants Provincial Ordinance #7, series of 2003 otherwise known as “Small-Scale Mining and Processing Operations Ordinance of the Province of South Cotabato.”
Atty, Marnito Cosep served as Moderator during the Open Forum with PEMO chief Siegfred Flaviano leading the panel of reactors.
PEMO together with other government mining agencies will strictly implement the ban on mercury in gold mining starting next year.