SP clarifies: Capitol not behind offshore mining

By October 10, 2021Business

THE provincial government had nothing to do with the impending large-scale offshore mining in the Lingayen Gulf to be undertaken by the Iron Ore and Vanadium Resources Philippines Inc.

This was clarified by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan belying suspicions that it was the provincial government that initiated the project.

Fourth District Board Member Jeremy Agerico Rosario clarified that the project got the green light after a Financial Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) was signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdia.

“I would like to make it clear…that this idea started from the national government,” Rosario said, adding: “Akala ng mga tao ito ay galing sa amin.”

Rosario told Ramon Santos, an official of the proponent company, that the people of Pangasinan are holding on to Proclamation No. 156 signed by then President Fidel V. Ramos on March 24, 1993 that seeks to protect and preserve the Lingayen Gulf being a critical area.

He stressed that a presidential proclamation ranks the highest among all laws and could only be superseded by another presidential proclamation that such was already lifted.

Believing that the FVR’s presidential proclamation still stays, majority of the SP have expressed strong reservations to the project.

He told Santos that resistance to the project down to the grassroots in Pangasinan is very strong.

Meanwhile, Santos admitted that his company still has no idea on the grade of magnetites it can extract from the Lingayen Gulf.

He said there are only two possibilities that can happen: if the exploration will extract favorable grade of magnetites, the company will conduct follow up exploration; if not, the company will stop exploration.

Santos said his company, with a capitalization of P500,000 million, was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2015 and on the same year, it applied for FTAA but it was only in 2020 or five years later that the same was approved.

He said the primary purpose of his company is to engage business in operating mines and secondly in general construction. (Leonardo Micua)

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