Republic of the Philippines
PROVINCE OF SAMAR
Catbalogan

 

Tanggapan ng Sangguniang Panlalawigan

 

EXCERPT FROM THE MINUTES OF THE 78TH REGULAR SESSION OF THE 10TH SANGGUNIANG PANLALAWIGAN, THIS PROVINCE, HELD AT THE SESSION HALL CAPITOL, CATBALOGAN, SAMAR, ON THE 25TH DAY OF SEPTEMBER 2003

 

PRESENT:            Hon. ERNESTO C. ARCALES                          -    Vice-Governor/Presiding Officer
                                Hon. MA.
LOURDES C .UY                                -    Acting Floor Leader
                                Hon. FE T. ARCALES                                          -                Member
                               
Hon. JIMMY R. DY                                                -                    “
                                Hon. JUAN C. LATORRE, JR.                           -                    “
                                Hon. ANTONIO L. BOLASTIG III                        -                    “
                                Hon. RAMON P. DEAN, JR.                               -                    “
                                Hon. JOSEPH E. ESCOBER                             -     ABC Prov’l Fed. President

 

ABSENT:               Hon. FELIX T. BABALCON, JR.                         -    Majority Floor Leader        (O.B.)

                                Hon. BIENVENIDA P. REPOL                           -                  Member                 (O.B.)

                                Hon. ROSENAIDA A. ROSALES                       -                                                 (O.B.)

                                Hon. SUSANO D. SALURIO                              -                                                 (O.B.)

                                Hon. BARTOLOE R. CASTILLO                        -    PCL Prov’l Fed. Pres.       (O.B.)

                                Hon. EDGARDO F. TIOPES                               -    SK Prov’l Fed. President

 

 

ORDINANCE NO. 541

 

AN ORDINANCE IMPOSING A FIFTY (50) - YEAR MORATORIUM ON THE CONDUCT OF LARGE SCALE MINING OPERATIONS IN THE PROVINCE OF SAMAR AND PROVIDING EXEMPTIONS, PENALTIES AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES THEREOF

 

WHEREAS, in the past, the three provinces of Samar have suffered and sustained extensive damages to life and property caused by devastating flashfloods and landslide and the denudation caused by rampant and unabated logging and other exploitative activities have been pinpointed as the causal factor of the catastrophic calamities which resulted in unwarranted loss of human lives and misery to thousand of Samareños, burying their homes, villages and farmlands and destroying roads, bridges and numerous infrastructure projects;

 

WHEREAS, in 1989, in the interest of the people of Samar Island and to protect them from natural calamities brought by typhoons, a logging moratorium was imposed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in the whole island.

 

WHEREAS, in 1996, after the people of the three provinces of Samar have petitioned the government to act expeditiously and with resolved in order to preserve, conserve and manage on a sustainable basis the remaining forest cover of Samar, to protect human lives and property, promote environmental and socio-economic security and provide sanctuary and refuge for many endangered flora and fauna such as the Philippine Tarsier, the Philippine Eagle, the Rufus Hornbill, the Bleeding Heart Pigeon and the Philippine Cockatoo, in order to protect the vast terrestrial natural resources of the island, President Fidel V. Ramos declared the remaining forest of Samar island as the Samar Island Forest Reserve (SIFR);

 

WHEREAS, in 2001, after a detailed study conducted by the DENR and upon popular demand of the civil society of Samar Island, the Government of the Philippines entered into an international agreement with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) – Global Environment Facility (GEF) for the establishment of the SIFR as a protected area under the NIPAS Act (Republic Act 7586), to be known as the Samar Island Natural Park (SINP), of which significant portions of one (1) city and thirteen (13) municipalities within the province are covered;

 

WHEREAS, the livelihood of several downstream coastal fishing communities are very dependent on the clean water from the different major river system of Samar such as the Pan-as Hayiban Watershed, Gandara Watershed, Catbalogan Watershed, Pabanog Watershed, Calbiga Watershed, Silaga Watershed, Basey Watershed and Marabut Watershed, including the headwaters of Ulot (Can-avid) Watershed in Paranas and Taft Watershed in Hinabangan that drain eastward into the Pacific Ocean;

 

WHEREAS, several communities along the Taft River have been suffering from polluted and contaminated rivers and water supply caused by the mining activities in Bagacay, Hinabangan, for more than a decade since its last operation;

 

WHERAS, there is a strong need to stem the further depletion of Samar Island’s forest resources to prevent considerable loss of lives during typhoons and to protect the downstream communities who are dependent on clean water for their life and livelihood.

 

NOW THEREFORE, on motion of Hon. JOSEPH E. ESCOBER, duly seconded by the Body, be it -

 

RESOLVED, as it is hereby resolved, to enact the following:

 

Section 1. Title of the Ordinance – This Ordinance is entitled: AN ORDINANCE IMPOSING A FIFTY (50) - YEAR MORATORIUM ON THE CONDUCT OF LARGE SCALE MINING OPERATIONS IN THE PROVINCE OF SAMAR AND PROVIDING EXEMPTIONS, PENALTIES AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES THEREOF;

 

Section 2.  Preliminary considerations

 

A.    Section 16, Article II, Constitution. The State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.

 

B.    Section 2-A (Rep. Act of 7160). It is hereby declared, the policy of the state that the territorial and political subdivisions of the State shall enjoy genuine and meaningful local autonomy to enable them to attain their fullest development as self-reliant communities and make them more effective partners in the attainment of national goals. Toward this end, the State shall provide for [a] more responsive and accountable local government structure instituted through a system of decentralization whereby local government units shall be given more powers, authority, responsibilities and resources.

 

C.    Section 5-A (R.A. 7160). Any provision on a power of [a] local government unit shall be liberally interpreted in its favor, and in case of doubt, any question thereon shall be resolved in favor of devolution of powers and of the lower government units. “Any fair and reasonable doubts as to the existence of the power shall be interpreted in favor of all the Local Government Unit concerned.”

 

D.    Section 5-C (R.A. 7160). The general welfare provisions in this Code shall be liberally interpreted to give more powers to local government units in accelerating economic development and upgrading the quality of life for the people in the community.

 

E.    Section 16 (R.A. 7160). General Welfare. – Every local government unit shall exercise the powers expressly granted, those necessarily implied therefrom, as well as powers necessary, appropriate, or incidental for its efficient and effective governance, and those which are essential to the promotion of the general welfare. Within their respective territorial jurisdictions, local government units shall ensure and support, among other things, the preservation and enrichment of culture, promote health and safety, enhance the right of the people to a balanced ecology, encourage and support the development of appropriate and self-reliant scientific and technological capabilities, improve public morals, enhance economic prosperity and social justice, promote full employment among their residents, maintain peace and order, and preserve the comfort and convenience of their inhabitants.

 

Section 3. Declaration of Policy  – It is hereby declared to be the policy of the Province of Samar to protect the conserve its forest and water resources, not only for the greatest good of the majority of the present generation but moreover, to reassure existence of the same natural resources to adequately satisfy the needs of the future generations, and to attain this end, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan henceforth declares that it shall be unlawful for any person or any business entity to engage in any large scale mining operations, as defined in Section 5 hereof, within the Province of Samar for the period of fifty (50) years from the effectivity of this Ordinance.

 

Section 4. Purpose, Scope and Coverage  – To prevent further degradation, pollution and contamination of the river and water systems of Samar and its neighboring areas and to stem the wanton destruction of the forest resources of Samar province, this ordinance shall cover all persons and/or entities engaged in large scale mining activities as defined in this ordinance. The moratorium shall cover all large scale mining operations and its preparatory activities, such as explorations. However exploration activities covered by the proper permits already issued by the DENR before the effectivity of this Ordinance may be allowed to continue its activities but shall not be allowed to develop or utilize the subject mineral resources within the period of this moratorium. Likewise, the mining activities within the jurisdiction of the Provincial/City Mining Regulatory Board shall not be covered by this moratorium.

 

All permits for large-scale mining operations already existing prior to the effectivity of this ordinance shall, subject to existing laws, rules and regulations, be respected. However, no expansion, of whatever size of area, shall be allowed on the subject existing extraction activities.

 

Section 5. Definition of terms. – For the purpose of this Ordinance, the following are hereby defined:

 

A.    LARGE SCALE MINING OPERATIONS –  mean mining activities involving exploration, feasibility, development, utilization and processing over areas of more than five (5) hectares;

 

B.     MINING OPERATIONS –  mean mining activities involving exploration, feasibility study, development and utilization;

 

C.    MORATORIUM –  means the suspension of any mining operations within the Province of Samar within the specified period of time.

 

Section 6. Penalty Clause. – Any person/s and or business entity violating this Ordinance shall be penalized with a fine of not more than P5,000.00 and/or imprisonment of six (6) months to twelve (12) months and the confiscation and forfeiture of paraphernalia and equipment in favor of the government, upon the discretion of the court.

 

Section 7. Creation of a Task Force. – To ensure the implementation of this ordinance, the Provincial Governor shall issue an Executive Order creating a Provincial Task Force to be composed of officials appointed by him.

 

Section 8. Seperability Clause. – If for any reason, a section or provision of this Ordinance shall be held as unconstitutional or contrary to existing national laws, it shall not affect the other provisions hereof.

 

Section 9. Repealing Clause. – Any existing Ordinance or a provision of any ordinance inconsistent herewith is deemed modified, amended or repealed accordingly.

 

Section 10. Effectivity. – This Ordinance shall take effect ten (10) days after its publication.

 

SO ORDAINED.

 

RESOLVED FURTHER, to request the DENR Secretary to deny any existing application or petition for extension/renewal of existing permits for mining or other forms of commercial mining operations.

 

RESOLVED FURTHER, that a copy of this ordinance be sent to the DENR Secretary, Directors of the Forest and Management Bureau (FMB) and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the DENR.

 

Carried unanimously.

 


 

 

I HEREBY CERTIFY to the correctness of the foregoing Ordinance.

 

 

                                                                                                                (Sgd) ALFREDO C. DELECTOR

                                                                                                                               Provincial Secretary

 

 

ATTESTED BY:

 

(Sgd) ERNESTO C. ARCALES

                Vice-Governor

              Presiding Officer

 

 

APPROVED:                         , 2003

 

MILAGROSA T. TAN

Governor