Philippine legislators acknowledged that Marinduque is still suffering from the effects of the Marcopper toxic spill nearly two decades ago by passing House bill on 2nd reading banning mining in the province.
Business World reported that Marinduque Rep. Regina Reyes, who has been working for the total ban in the province, said: “The province of Marinduque has been enduring the detrimental consequences of the 1996 mining disaster and its aftermath.”
“It is brutal and criminal to the residents of Marinduque to allow the exploitation of natural resources which will inevitably lead to the exacerbation of this unresolved mining tragedy.”
Marinduque’s Boac River, its main source of clean water, was struck with a massive spill of toxic mine tailings when disaster struck the open-pit mining operation of Marcopper and Canadian company Placer Dome on March 24, 1996.
A total ban on mining in the province will be put in place once the measure passes into law. Under the bill, violators face a fine of P1 million and imprisonment of 12 years, or both. The mining company also stands to be stripped of its license to operate.
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