Press Release
October 22, 2012


Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, PDP Laban President, has urged provincial officials to help stop the "furious" mining of black sand from beaches and river banks that contributes to the destruction of the environment.

In remarks before a gathering of the Provincial Board Members League of the Philippines Luzon Chapter on Friday, Pimentel said foreign and local companies have been engaged in mining black sand "to feed the hungry steel mills of China."

"There is nothing wrong for China to get some of the minerals it needs to modernize itself from our country. But for heaven's sake, we should allow it only if it does not destroy our environment. Our environment is our life. If we do not protect our environment, who will?" the senator explained.

Pimentel urged the provincial board members "to stop black sand mining in our localities" as "our environment is non-barterable for anything."

He likened the large-scale mining of black sand to the Black Plague that killed hundreds of thousands in Europe in the mid-14th century.

Pimentel also exhorted the provincial policy-makers to curb the problem of pollution.

"Sometimes 'progress' brings pollution with it. Smog, foul air, toxic waste, dirty water, bad mining practices, indiscriminate logging - you name it - are some of the underside of modernization," Pimentel pointed out.

The senator from Mindanao likewise asked the provincial board members to help maintain law and order in their communities.

Without peace and order, he said, "our people will suffer from a sense of insecurity which material wealth will hardly cure."

Pimentel reminded the provincial board members that "as public servants our duty is to deliver public service to our people, not to enrich ourselves or make ourselves masters of the people."

Pimentel said that as the son of the father of the Local Government Code, referring to former Sen. Aquilino "Nene" Pimentel, he would "continue fighting for the advancement of the welfare of the local government units: the barangay, municipality or city, or province."

The lawmaker emphasized that provincial boards play a big role in the development of the countryside. Since the call of the government is to pursue the straight path, he said, "we should strive to always promote the welfare of our fellow Filipinos. Public office is a privilege given by the people to us so that our communities, our provinces and the entire nation can achieve progress."

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