Manila, Philippines – Three foreign groups against large-scale mining in the country have raised the ante in their campaign, declaring that rice self-sufficiency by 2013 is threatened by the operations of mining companies, particularly in Mindanao.
In a statement dated February 13, MiningWatch Canada, Indigenous Peoples Links (PIPLinks) and the Working Group on Mining in the Philippines, attacked not only the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) but also Malacañang for attempting to put meaning to what it said were “hallow (sic) words” like “responsible mining.”
Catherine Coumans represents MiningWatch Canada and Andrew Whitmore speaks for PIPLinks, while Frank Nally of the Society of St. Columban and Clive Wicks are behind Working Group on Mining in the Philippines.
In their brief against the COMP for criticizing the draft executive order on mining, Coumans, Whitmore, Nally and Wicks said “mining on the scale envisaged in the Philippines is inconsistent with the Department of Agriculture (DA) target to make the country self-sufficient in rice by 2013, and the requirement to feed a population of 130 million people by 2030. This can’t be achieved if open cast mines are allowed in water catchments such as Tampakan in South Cotabato.” (Marvyn N. Benaning)