Review Small-Scale Mining Bill—IP Solon, Green Groups
January 10, 2012
Review small-scale mining bill—IP Solon, green groups
Avoid another ComVal tragedy by protecting our environment
Cong. Teddy Brawner-Baguilat together with green groups urge the different national government agencies and local government units to review the 20-year old small scale mining law that is still being implemented today.
This was after the Chamber of Mines declared and blamed small-scale mining activities in Compostella Valley that caused the tragic death of 28 people, with hundreds still missing in Pantukan.
Cong. Baguilat said, “I think it is unfair for institutions like the Chamber of Mines to completely put the blame to small scale mining companies and say we can only pursue large scale mining. We know that the large scale mining policy has its flaws too, so let’s not play the blaming game, rather let us fix what we need to fix—and ensure that right policies are implemented.”
The legislator who represents indigenous communities in the country further added the need to review these policies and ensure that there is balance in addressing environmental, cultural and social, and legal issues surrounding the mining industry.
“We are not taking the side of small scale and sometimes illegal mining operators but it’s ridiculous that the media releases of Chamber of Mines for the past months always targeted the small scale miners when we know that large scale mining operations has its own share of tragedies—and this is more risky with the projects that will be pursued now that disasters and unstoppable impacts of climate change are felt all over the world,” Alyansa Tigil Mina national coordinator Jaybee Garganera said.
Baguilat further added, “Whether it’s large scale or small scale, as long as it’s ancestral domain, it needs consent of indigenous peoples. And large scale mining has also resulted in environmental disasters and deaths similar to what happened in Compostela.”
But the Church will stand firm in its position to conserve and protect our environment and natural resources.
Fr. Edu Gariquez of executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines-National Secretariat for Social Action (CBCP-NASSA) added, ”We stand against any development aggression that causes the destruction of our environment. These disasters would not have happened if the forests were intact and the mountains kept as is.”
Haribon Foundation, a biodiversity conservation organization for one believes that the development and destruction of environment has been unmanageable.
Anabelle Plantilla, Haribon Foundation chief operating officer said, “It is clear that extractive industries like mining and logging have taken its toll on human lives and our environment. Existing laws should be strictly enforced and violators prosecuted. More importantly, we should focus on how we can immediately restore and protect our forests and other ecosystems to minimize the destructive effects of calamities brought about by nature and human activities.”
“We are one with the people, we pray for the lost lives—we also call on the local and national government agencies to help the affected communities and stop allowing logging and mining projects to continue to proliferate. Let us not allow another tragic happening kill communities,” Gariguez added.
Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) is an alliance of mining-affected communities and their support groups of NGOs/POs and other civil society organizations who are opposing the aggressive promotion of large-scale mining in the Philippines.
For more information:
Fr Edu Gariguez, CBCP-NASSA Executive Secretary, <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Ms. Anabelle Plantilla, COO of Haribon Foundation, <email@example.com>
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator, (0927) 761.76.02 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Farah Sevilla, ATM Policy&Advocacy Officer, (0915) 331.33.61 <email@example.com>