By Imelda C. Rivero
PIA, Ilocos Sur
VIGAN CITY, Ilocos Sur, Aug 23 (PIA) — President Aquino has signed Executive Order 79, identifying Vigan, UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site, banning mining in the city.
City Mayor Eva Marie S. Medina in a radio interview recently said that aside from the ordinance banning mining in the city, EO 79 also guarantees that Vigan will always stand as it is, free from any mining activity.
Medina said Vigan is one of the 20 “product-market thematic tourism cluster destinations” under the national government’s National Tourism Development Plan.
These tourism areas or clusters were listed by the Department of Tourism (DOT) after “extensive consultations” with tourism stakeholders in the whole nation.
The DOT listed 78 existing and emerging tourism development areas in the country that will be mining-free and protected from all mining acts, according to the DOT website. Vigan is definitely one of these.
Medina is confident these laws will protect this city from mining.
However, she said the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is helping the city locate the boundary between the city and adjacent coastal town of Caoayan which has allowed offshore mining.
She acceded that Barangay San Pedro may be affected by mining activities as the barangay is directly adjacent to Caoayan town.
The city government, therefore, is keen on locating the boundary between them with the aid of DENR to make sure it will be precise in placing protective structures in the boundary.#