Last February 1, Gina Lopez, the Managing Director of ABS-CBN Foundation, launched a signature campaign to save Palawan from both illegal and legally-questionable (allegedly, some politician’s hands were greased to approve the mining contracts) mining activities in Palawan.

The goal is noble, and the ideals are lofty. Indeed, that which they are fighting for is quite dear to my heart.

However, whether we are fighting enough or not is a question that I have to ask. The title to this blog post actually has two meanings: 1) We are far from the goal of 10 million signatures and 2) Having signatures just isn’t enough, 10 million or otherwise!

Last April 28, Ms. Lopez called on the President to present the campaign and educate him on the perils of mining, to which the President basically responded that he’d get his Cabinet to “look into it”, and to refine policies on mining.

Refine policies on mining?! Are you kidding me?! These mining companies aren’t wasting any time digging away. Why then are we? We can’t afford to sit patiently and wait. We have to keep the pressure up on the President and whoever is in the way of true environmental progress.

You can be sure I’ll be looking for ways to put more pressure on our politicians, so stay tuned. If you know of any politicians who can help, or who best to approach or send mass emails to, or if you have an idea on what other ways we can do to help, or if you simply are not afraid to get shot for being an activist, kindly post your info and ideas in the comments section below.

In the meantime, you can sign the petition at We have less than 1.4 million signatures as of this writing. Post a link on your wall or tweet and retweet. WE NEED A HELL OF A LOT MORE.

I reposted Gina Lopez’s letter below. You can also view it at where it was originally published.

My dear friends,

On January 24 a very dear friend and colleague Gerry Ortega was shot in the head dead. I was just with him that weekend – and a few minutes before he died what we were discussing over the phone was an anti-mining campaign in Palawan – given that on December two huge mining applications were railroaded – and they were to be near protected sites.

Gerry is dead but we will not let go of his dreams – and mine – and probably yours too.

Palawan has 17 key bio diversity sites – which means it is part of the 70% bio diversity sites which are essential for sustaining life in the planet. It has 2 world heritage sites, 8 protected sites. Yet if you see Palawan on the map you will note that it is a very thin island – which is 82% mountain. It means that if the forest gets denuded and the minerals excavated – the tailings seep directly into the sea affecting the coral reefs. The top soil is thin – and the island eco system is fragile.

Mining is not the way to go for Palawan. I have five eco tourism sites wherein the communities involved can now send their children to school, can dream bigger dreams. Mayor hagedorn in Puerto Princesa has banned mining and logging – and focused on tourism and agriculture. From 2 flights a week, Puerto Princesa now boasts 10 flights a day. His revenues have gone up from several million to several billion.

Mining as an economic path in a magnificent “Last Frontier” is based on a paradigm of economic growth that is myopic and archaic . In this age of climate change and global warming any economic development that does not recognize and revere the web of life should be thrown in the dustbin.

Please please support the ten million signature campaign to Stop Mining in Palawan. The richness of Palawan is the wealth and pride of the country, it is the wealth of the world. Log in to .. register your vote and please please send it to thousands others. You can also include your household by downloading the form printing it – and faxing it to 4152227 or you can scan it and send it to Questions can be sent to

Gina Lopez
Managing Director
ABS-CBN Foundation Inc.

Categories: Issues, Musings, Travel

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