MANILA, May 17 — Palawan province’s biodiversity haven Brooke’s Point town is under siege and the mayor there identified illegal mining as the culprit.
“Ipilan Nickel Corporation (INC) already began clearing land in Brooke’s Point’s Ipilan and Maasin villages in preparation for this company’s mineral extraction activities there,” Mayor Jean Feliciano said Tuesday (May 16) at a forum in Metro Manila.
She is seeking national government’s help on the matter, saying INC’s action is illegal since Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) already cancelled its environmental compliance certificate for failing to meet requirements.
“INC doesn’t have the required mayor’s permit and protected area management board clearance as well,” she continued.
The incursion began less than a week after Commission on Appointments (CA) rejected eco-crusader Gina Lopez’ appointment as DENR head, she noted.
Feliciano said INC’s clearing operation already toppled thousands of centuries-old indigenous trees in the villages’ natural forests.
Those forests are part of a watershed, she said.