October 5, 2011
Dear Honorable Mayor Tan and Members of the SB, Municipality of Pandan:
Pandan Antique Foundation Inc., a support group of Pandananons all over the world, joins the ranks of protesters who oppose the planned mining operations on the Northwest Panay Peninsula especially from Pandan and Libertad, province of Antique in Western Visayas in the Philippines.
We are extremely concerned of the familiar catastrophic impact on the environment and the serious health vulnerability they create on the residents of Pandan and Libertad. Contamination resulting from leakage of chemicals are risk of adverse health effects and land and water resource degradation that can last for years or even decades.
“Environmental issues can include erosion, formation of sinkholes, loss of biodiversity, and contamination of soil, groundwater and surface water by chemicals from mining processes. In some cases, additional forest logging is done in the vicinity of mines to increase the available room for the storage of the created debris and soil. Contamination resulting from leakage of chemicals can also affect the health of the local population if not properly controlled. Extreme examples of pollution from mining activities include coal fires, which can last for years or even decades, producing massive amounts of environmental damage.”
If mining areas would be closer by few km. to the next nearest mine in Libertad and Pandan, air quality (dust) impacts from a mine would be significant. Surface water impacts from a wastewater discharge to a local body of water would most be sensitive to fish and aquatic life.
We stand solid and firm in our stance against the mining project because we are convinced and threatened by the ill effects and the invironmental damages to these areas.
We think of Pandan and its barangays as our haven of safety, a place we return to for our nostalgic rejuvenation of values, traditions, relationships, and spirit. It is our home, a place where we belong. It is our refuge and reprieve from the harsh realities and demands of our rat-race world abroad. Thus, our affinity to this special place invokes in us a sense of responsibility and protectiveness.
Pandan is your permanent residence and, as such, your responsibility to preserve and protect it at all costs is your resolute obligation and commitment, compounded by the fact that you have been bestowed its stewardship as elected officials. By safeguarding our people and environment from harm and destruction, you are performing your duty and returning as best you can the full measure of God’s gifts and bounty to us. Above all, you leave to your children a legacy of beauty, safety, and pride of place. Do not let mining industry plunder be your downfall and demise.
Mining for Ore/metal or marble is an annoyance rather than a blessing. Be with us in our fight against this impending destruction of lives and property. Do not forget our past; rather, look at the present with an eye for the future so you will someday avoid coming to terms with the agonizing finality of your loss if you allow your integrity and loyalty to our kasimanwa crumble and disintegrate. Say NO TO MINING IN PANDAN AND LIBERTAD.
Signed: CESAR D. CANDARI, MD FCAP EMERITUS
Founder and Chairman, Pandan Antique Foundation, Inc.