Coast Guard halts China-bound mineral ore ship in Zambales

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THE Philippine Coast Guard reported on Monday that it has stopped a vessel from leaving the province of Zambales for China after an order was issued against its shipment of mineral ore.

“The PCG Task Force Aduana assisted in implementing the “Cease and Desist Order against the shipment of mineral ores consigned to Yinglong Steel Corporation (YSC) on board MV Van Knight in Sta. Cruz, Zambales,” the Coast Guard said in a statement.

The PCG said the Bureau of Customs (BOC) found out that the vessel will transport an “undetermined amount of mineral ore from the Philippines to China.”

The PCG said that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Mines and Geosciences Bureau (DENR-MGB) declared that the YSC’s mineral ore export permit had been suspended as of January 12, 2023 for allegedly violating Presidential Decree No. 1586 (Establishing an Environmental Impact Statement System, including other Environmental Management Related Measures and for other Purposes).

“The PCG Task Force Aduana is currently securing and preventing the said vessel from departing the vicinity waters off Sta. Cruz, Zambales,” the Coast Guard said.

The problem of unregulated mineral ore shipments leaving Zambales on ships bound for China had been flagged since 10 years ago, particularly after Customs authorities conceded that they had not been able to monitor such strictly.

The DENR has also been cracking down on unregulated mineral ore extractions in the province of Zambales.