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HomeHot TopicsEastern Samar's Guiuan Urges MGB Verification Amid Mining Firm's Boundary Concerns

Eastern Samar’s Guiuan Urges MGB Verification Amid Mining Firm’s Boundary Concerns

The local government of Guiuan in Eastern Samar has formally requested the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) to verify the mining tenement boundaries of Emir Mineral Resources in Casuguran village, Homonhon Island.

Guiuan Mayor Annaliza Gonzales Kwan stated that she reached out to MGB Eastern Visayas regional director Marcelo Noble following multiple complaints regarding alleged mining activities outside the approved boundary.

Residents from Barangay Bitaugan voiced concerns about the mining firm allegedly operating beyond its designated area. Bitaugan is among the few villages on Homonhon Island not covered by mining activities.

According to Mayor Kwan, the urgency of the request stems from fears of potential clashes arising from disputed operations: “The residents of Bitaugan claim that Emir’s mining operation is encroaching on their village. Hence, the request is urgent to prevent any violent confrontation.”

Expressing her vision for the area, Mayor Kwan emphasized a desire to prioritize agricultural and agro-industrial development over mining ventures in Bitaugan.

In addition to the MGB inquiry, Mayor Kwan directly addressed Emir Mineral Resources Corporation through a letter to cease operations temporarily pending verification: “While we are waiting for MGB’s verification, I enjoin your company not to operate in the contested area to avoid further conflict.”

Recent actions by the local government include a ground investigation on Homonhon Island and engagements with mining entities and village officials. A rally by Bitaugan residents on April 3 highlighted concerns over potential environmental impacts and livelihood disruptions if mining activities extend to their area.

Bitaugan’s significance as a major calamansi producer underscores the economic and ecological stakes involved. The region’s unique biodiversity, including the critically endangered Philippine cockatoo, adds to the complexity of balancing development and conservation efforts.

Guiuan’s past resolution designating Bitaugan, Habag, and Inapulangan as critical cockatoo habitats reflects ongoing environmental advocacy amidst industrial activities on the island.

As discussions and verifications continue, the community remains vigilant about preserving their environment and livelihoods amidst evolving land use dynamics.

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