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PCG watching Chinese language ships off Homonhon

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UNDER SCRUTINY The presence of these Chinese-manned international cargo ships in the waters off Homonhon Island, shown in this photo taken on May 16, is being monitored closely by the Philippine Coast Guard, which has set up a station on the island. —ROEL T. AMAZONA/CONTRIBUTOR

UNDER SCRUTINY The presence of those Chinese language-manned worldwide cargo ships within the waters off Homonhon Island, proven on this photograph taken on Could 16, is being monitored carefully by the Philippine Coast Guard, which has arrange a station on the island. —Roel T. Amazona/contributor

TACLOBAN CITY, LEYTE, Philippines — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has established a station on historic Homonhon Island in Guiuan city, Jap Samar province, to observe the actions of Chinese language vessels docked alongside its waters.

Cmdr. Elgene Gregorio, performing deputy commander of the PCG in Jap Visayas, clarified that the presence of those Chinese language vessels within the waters off Homonhon is authorized, since these are worldwide cargo ships which have permits to move minerals produced by the mining companies working on the island.

Nonetheless, he mentioned, the PCG wanted to “be sure that they won’t have interaction in any unlawful actions.”

READ: Chinese language Navy ships seen off Basilan; ‘harmless passage,’ says AFP

“Our plan of action is to place up a unit on Homonhon to assist us monitor their actions and guarantee compliance with the regulation,” Gregorio added.

The PCG station on Homonhon was established on Could 20, mentioned Gregorio.

Not less than 4 mining firms owned or affiliated with Chinese language companies function on the island to extract chromite or nickel.

These firms are Emir Mineral Sources, Techiron Sources Inc., International Min-Met Sources and Verum Terra Geoscience Inc.

The minerals being collected from these mining companies are instantly transported to China, their major market.

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Monitoring job

Gregorio mentioned the choice to determine a unit on the island, the place Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan landed in 1521, was primarily a part of their mandate to observe international vessels coming into Philippine waters.

“We’re doing our greatest to safeguard our territorial waters and be sure that no international vessel will enter our space to conduct any unlawful actions,” he mentioned in an interview.

In keeping with Gregorio, the presence of the Chinese language vessels, largely manned by Chinese language nationals, has raised issues amongst villagers.

He mentioned he couldn’t give but the precise variety of Chinese language vessels docked within the waters of Homonhon at any given time.

Final April, Bishop Crispin Varquez of the Diocese of Borongan, the provincial capital, raised issues over the “escalated mining operations” on Homonhon Island.

He appealed to authorities to fastidiously examine the mining tasks on the island to make sure that these won’t have devastating results on the setting and the native residents.

“We name on our authorities leaders and anxious companies to take motion on this matter and to think about primarily the preservation, security and welfare of the affected areas and its residents,” he added.

The 20-kilometer-long island, which is distinguished for its huge deposits of nickel and chromite, has been grappling with open-pit mining for the reason that Nineties.

The Diocese of Borongan has been spearheading campaigns to protect and shield the island’s remaining biodiversity, asking authorities to cease the mining operations on Homonhon Island.

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The requests, nonetheless, remained unheeded.

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