OPEN LETTER TO THE MAYOR AND SB OF PANDAN
Dear Honorable Mayor Tan and Members of the SB of Pandan:
As chairman of the board, I am writing you again on behalf of Pandan Antique Foundation Inc. based in the U.S. and composed of an active group of Pandananons all over the world. We are linking up with the rank and file of protesters who oppose the planned mining operations on the Northwest Panay Peninsula, especially from Pandan and Libertad, province of Antique, Philippines.
We are profoundly concerned of the familiar catastrophic impact of mining explorations on the environment and the serious health vulnerability they create on the residents of Pandan and Libertad, particularly the barangays of Patria, Duyong, Tingib, and Mag-aba. The contamination resulting from leakage of chemicals are risk of adverse health effects along with land and water resource degradation that can last for years or even decades in these areas. Definitely, it is intolerable.
You must realize that PROCLAMATION NO. 186 DECLARING THE MOUNTAIN RANGES OF NORTHWEST PANAY PENINSULA SITUATED IN THE MUNICIPALITIES OF NABAS, MALAY, BURUANGA PROVINCE OF AKLAN AND MUNICIPALITIES OF LIBERTAD AND PANDAN IN THE PROVINCE OF ANTIQUE AS PROTECTED AREA PURSUANT TO R.A.7586 (NIPAS ACT OF 1992) AND SHALL BE KNOWN AS THE NORTHWEST PANAY PENINSULA NATURAL PARK AND MUST NOT BE SUBJECT TO MINING EXPLOITATIONS.
We think of Pandan and its barangays as our veritable source of simple, homespun pleasures–a place where one can spend the day lolling on sandy beaches or quiet brooks, green lush forest unmolested by the noise and hustle of any mining scenario, the sanctuary of safety, a place God’s gifts and bounty to us. We, Pandananuns and our children, the younger generations now residing abroad will come home to savor the nostalgic rejuvenation of values, traditions, relationships, and spirit, the flora and fauna we wish to maintain. It is our home, a place where we belong. These places are endowed with nature’s scenic exquisiteness worth exploring as tourist destinations and attractions with an ambience and aura of a romantic jungle environment. Thus, our affinity to this special place invokes in us a sense of accountability and protectiveness.
The initiative for “Responsible Mining” which seeks to develop and establish a voluntary system to independently verify compliance with environmental, human rights and social standards for mining are notoriously not being implemented according to Philippine reports.
We stand rock-solid and unwavering in our values against the mining project because we are convinced and threatened by the ill effects and the environmental damages to these areas.
We fervently appeal to you, the leaders of Pandan – this is your responsibility to preserve and protect our beautiful land at all costs. It is your prime and resolute obligation and commitment to our kasimanwas by safeguarding our people and environment from harm and destruction. You must perform your duty and above all, you leave a legacy to your children the beauty, safety, and wonder of our land. Do not let mining industry plunder and become your loss and disappointment.
We pray, you must be with us in our fight against this imminent destruction of our environment and danger to people’s health. Generally speaking, there are many in the entire universe that makes a difference in the lives of thousands of people daily. Mr. Mayor and members of the SB, you have one to make. Avoid coming to terms with the agonizing finality of your loss if you allow your integrity and loyalty to our kasimanwa fall apart, thereby loss your messianic zeal, passion and total devotion.
Say NO TO MINING IN PANDAN AND LIBERTAD.
Signed: CESAR D. CANDARI, MD FCAP EMERITUS
Founder and Chairman, Pandan Antique Foundation