What is wrong with the Mining Act of 1995?
RA 7942 or the Mining Act of 1995 essentially caters to the need of the global extractives industry players.To access mineral areas and control the use of minerals to feed the global corporate demand for raw materials and energy in the production, distribution and consumption of commodity products—a system wholly motivated by profits.
In fact, it was due to pressures from the global extractives industry, Northern countries (or first world countries like the US and Australia), and the International Financial Institutions (IFIs), like the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, that the current mining law of the country came about. In the 80s towards the 90s, during the push for structural adjustment programs (SAPs) by the IFIs, countries like the Philippines were forced to change their mining laws to facilitate the entry and access of multinational mining corporations in mineral rich countries worldwide.
The current law facilitates the entry of corporations into ecosystems and community territories for the exploration and extraction of minerals to be shipped out of the country in exchange for revenues from the corporations. The government has not been shy in saying that the mining industry is essentially an elaborate investments baiting and revenue making scheme or PLAK (peralangangkatapat).
Even with this frank admission, it still is a big lie because with the overgenerous fiscal incentives regime of the Mining Act and other laws, the corporations only need to leave us with a few loose change in exchange for our mineral resources, leaving large scale and long term destruction to the environment and communities in their wake. In perpetuating this system, RA 7942 has been used to sabotage local government efforts to protect the health, environment and livelihoods of their constituents; corrupted the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) process of indigenous peoples communities; rendered inutile the Environmental Impact Assessment System; and has brought about a long string of human rights violations against communities and individuals resisting mining.
Source: SOS Yamang Bayan Network Primer on AMMB
- Mining operations continue in Leyte towns (leytesamardaily.net)