Sand Mining

It’s a pity that no one has come forward to say anything about sand mining in Aparri. I remember that in the middle 70s similar sand mining was undertaken in the Ilocos region, presumably to gather magnetite which must be some kind of iron filings that has some industrial use.
The Aparri episode, if it is indeed happening, may not be too different considering that the look and texture of the sand in Ilocos is very much like the sand in Aparri.
If no one is saying anything, someone must be making a killing out of this activity and someone’s pocket must be getting fat by now.
What are the DENR guys saying about this? Do they have anything to say, really?


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Reginald B.Tamayo on June 26, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    I have shared my thoughts about Cagayan mining and you can read them at


  2. Posted by Reginald B.Tamayo on June 28, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    Mining threatens Cagayan agri lands Philippine Daily InquirerFirst Posted 02:54:00 11/08/2008Filed Under: Mining and quarrying, Environmental Issues, AgricultureI have on several occasions called the attention of the national media to take even a momentary look at the mining activities in Cagayan province. I have attended prayer rallies here to help get the attention of the national government. But everything has been for naught. It is a lonely fight.Lately, the priests of the Archdiocese of Cagayan issued a “Statement of Concern.” It says that “as pastors, we listen to the voice of our people and we dutifully act on them. The rapid expansion of mining activities in the Province of Cagayan and the alleged ‘dredging’ of the Cagayan River have brought anxiety to our people. We believe that these activities will eventually destroy the environment and adversely affect the lives of our people. We cannot disregard their cry. We are one with them.”The statement cited the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ “Statement on Mining Issues and Concerns” in 2006. It says, “The right to life of people is inseparable from their right to sources of food and livelihood. Allowing the interest of mining corporations to prevail over people’s right to these sources amounts to violating their right to life.”In particular, the priests express these concerns:1. The Japan International Cooperation Agency believes that dredging/quarrying in the lower portion of the Cagayan River might cause saltwater to flow into the river and be pumped into the irrigation systems inland. Some 10,000 hectares of precious rice lands could be destroyed by this.2. Dredging will disrupt the aquatic ecosystem, with more adverse effects on, say, the income of a number of fishermen who depend on the river for their livelihood. The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources has warned that dredging could result in the disappearance of certain species of shellfish and fish, among them the cabbie, catfish and the prized “ludong.”3. Magnetite (iron ore) mining threatens the communities living in the coastal areas, more so in Aparri which is below sea level. Saltwater intrusion into agricultural lands is not a remote possibility.The priests “believe that the time has come for Cagayanos [people of Cagayan] to reassert their commitment to protect and defend the environment. We call on our local officials and concerned government agencies to be honest and transparent regarding the operations of these mining companies.” They “support the petitions of some sectors to stop the mining operations in the Cagayan River as well as the coastal areas of Cagayan. We ask that these mining operations be stopped while further studies, as suggested by the Cagayan Riverine Zone Development Plan (2005-2030), [are being] conducted.”While the national government and media may be saddled with greater concerns, I make this earnest appeal to them to look into our needs and plights in Cagayan. Our local church has spoken. This should not be construed as Church meddling in government affairs. This is the Church’s way of shepherding and protecting the flock.REGINALD B. TAMAYO, member, Sangguniang Bayan [Municipal Council]; secretary general, SAVE Cagayan, Aparri, Cagayan


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