September 6, 2013
Groups launch Anti Mining Solidarity Week of Actions
Call on Chamber of Mines, government: Stop the Plunder! Tao Muna, Hindi Mina!
Groups led by Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) launched a week-long campaign opposing the Chamber of Mines’ push for more mining investments in the country.
“Every September since President GMA’s time, the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (CoMP) organizes an international mining conference packaging the Philippines as a mining hub. Every year, our groups opposing the current framework of aggressive promotion of large-scale mining, denounce this through our creative actions,” explained Jaybee Garganera, national coordinator of ATM on Friday.
“Destructive large-scale mining is the plunder of our natural wealth, much as the pork barrel scam was a plunder of the taxpayer’s money. This time, we call on the government to no longer allow the plunder of our mineral wealth. Let us find a way to manage our mineral resources and maximize it for our national industrializations,” Garganera added.
The groups are also lobbying for the review of the current Mining Law (RA7942) and eventually passage of an Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB). Champions in Senate and the House of Representatives support them.
Ifugao Rep. Teddy Brawner-Baguilat, one of the authors of the AMMB, said: “My Congressional Report on IPs and Mining in the 15th Congress surfaced a lot of mining problems in ancestral domains and indigenous communities.
“This is why we believe that it is about time to revisit our mining policies and address its flaws. We believe that if my co-legislators are willing and that if all sectors actively participate in the discussions, we can come out with a new policy that allows us to maximize our mineral resources and, at the same time, ensure the protection of our environment and rights of the people.”
The AMMB is currently filed in the two Houses as House Bill No. 984 and Senate Bill No. 43.
Meanwhile, mining-affected communities and their support groups are also waiting for the Supreme Court’s decision in their petition to declare unconstitutional Sections 80-81 (fiscal regime) of RA7942.
Garganera concluded, “In the midst of all these issues on the pork barrel scam and plunder cases, we hope that the Administration and the different offices will respond.”
Alyansa Tigil Mina is an alliance of mining-affected communities and their support groups of NGOs/POs and other civil society organizations who oppose the aggressive promotion of large-scale mining in the Philippines. The alliance is currently pushing for a moratorium on mining, revocation of EO 270-A, repeal of the Mining Act of 1995, and passage of the AMMB. (30)
For more information:
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator (0927) 761.76.02 email@example.com
Farah Sevilla, ATM Policy Advocacy Officer (0915) 331.33.61 firstname.lastname@example.org