Bohol’s danger ahead

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Bohol’s danger ahead

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An open letter from Juan Lumacang III to the DENR and Bohol Media Practitioners
(Published through The Bohol Chronicle’s VRS column)

 
Bohol is a home to many natural wonders, a truly God-given gift to the province and its people. We are known to be protectors and stewards of the environment, espoused thereafter the passage of the Environmental code, a first of its kind in the entire country.

How soon can we realize that the present conditions of the province are not pleasing and favorable to the inhabitants- the brave and hospitable Boholanos?

I am appalled and shocked upon seeing the photos below. These photos are recent pictures of Bohol Limestone Corporation in Garcia Hernandez, Bohol. I am no expert of this, but as a concerned Boholano who has great admiration of the God-given gifts in the province, it made me question the legality of this mining.

I am aware that the present administration under President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has a crusade against mining firms and corporations that had brought devastation to the environment. It was started during the tenure of the former DENR Sec. Gina Lopez. They called a halt on the operations on those firms that violated the mining law. Technically, they cancelled the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) which compels the mining firms to suspend their operations. On this premise, I thought the Bohol Limestone Corporation in Garcia Hernandez, Bohol was made to suspend theirs too.

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The once beautiful mountains of the Garcia Hernandez, source of water and life in the locality, are now flattened into an almost airport-size mining field. What benefits have it brought to the municipality and its people? I sure do know these benefits if there is any, are just a day-long benefits, not a long-term and sustainable one. We must not be blinded.

These past months, I browsed over the internet about recent developments in the province. I read the news and some blogs pertaining to Bohol’s progress. I must say, we are in the right track towards development. But never in a glance I saw these issues to surmise. Media Practitioners are mum about it. I don’t know if it is intentional, I hope not. Thus, I took to the leverage to air this out through social media. Let us see where this leads us.

A portion of the Provincial Government’s Vision states “Bohol is a prime eco-cultural tourist destination with sound environmental condition…”. These words should reverberate in every Boholano including gov’t agencies to forward our goals in keeping a sound environmental condition in the Province. Clearly, the mining in Garcia Hernandez deviates from our common vision for Bohol. Do we need to witness a tremendous devastation before we act? I think not. This is not the time for a wait-and-see system. We all want a safe and sound environment to live in.

I call upon the DENR through Sec. Roy Cimatu and other concern agencies to look into the situation. It is incumbent upon you to call a halt on the operation of this firm. While this may bring a little good to the people, the destruction will haunt us down in the future. If this firm does not conform to the enabling laws and other regulations, their operation should be stop. We can’t afford a mud flood to come to our province. We are still recuperating from the great havoc brought by the 7.2 earthquake four years ago.

We can’t afford to be derailed once again towards our goals for a better future. Hand in hand we determine the future of our beloved province of Bohol. Together let us not allow that our children be robbed of their future, their wonderful environment, the place we call home. This is ours, we must protect it.

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