ADVOCATES MARCH TO SENATE, BACK HONTIVEROS’ FILING OF ALTERNATIVE MINING BILL
MANILA, 25 August 2016 – Environment and human rights advocates mobilized in front of the Senate today to support Senator Risa Hontiveros’ filing of the Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB).
Three hundred supporters from mining-affected communities, Alyansa Tigil Mina, Akbayan, Aniban ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura, Philippine Misereor Partnership, Philippine Movement for Climate Justice and Sanlakas—all members of Save our Sovereignty-Yamang Bayan (SOS-YB) Network— also urged other senators to back the bill.
“With the over-generous fiscal incentives regime of the Mining Act and other laws, multinational corporations only need to leave us with loose change in exchange for our mineral resources, destroying communities as well as the environment in their wake,” the SOS-YB network stated.
“We call for the passage of the Alternative Minerals Management Bill to guarantee that mining will actually benefit the Filipino people and prioritize food security, environmental protection, and sustainable development.”
Hontiveros, who as Akbayan representative first filed the alternative mining bill in the 14th Congress, said: “There is a need to overhaul our current mining policy. It’s time for mining companies to ensure that their operations do not harm the environment and are a source of contribution to the community.” She added the need to factor climate change in the mining policy framework by inculcating environmental tax and the establishment of a Calamity and Human Rights Protection Fund.
The AMMB has been filed in the Lower House by Ifugao representative Teddy Brawner Baguilat and Agusan Del Norte’s first district Rep. Lawrence Fortun (as House Bill No. 113), Dinagat Islands Rep. Kaka Bag-ao (HB54), and Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin (HB2633).
“We are hopeful that the AMMB will finally be prioritized by this Congress. There are mountains of evidence to prove that the current mining law is flawed and outdated. It has failed to contribute to the Philippine economy and has more negative impacts on than benefits for communities,” said Dr. Benito Molino, chairperson of Concerned Citizens of Sta. Cruz, Zambales.
"While the bill is still pending in Congress, our call in the SOS YB Network is for a moratorium on all mining operations,” Molino added.
NOTES TO THE EDITOR
Alyansa Tigil Mina is an alliance of mining-affected communities and their civil society support groups which oppose the aggressive promotion of large-scale mining in the Philippines. The alliance is currently pushing for a moratorium on mining, repeal of the 1995 Mining Act, and passage of the Alternative Minerals Management Bill.
SOS-Yamang Bayan Network is a multi-sectoral movement of mining-affected communities, national people's’ alliances, environmental organizations and networks, church-based organizations, human rights organizations, national NGOs, sectoral organizations from the indigenous peoples, youth, women, farmers, and Congressional representatives advocating for the repeal of the Mining Act of 1995 and the enactment of a new minerals management bill.
For photos of the march and the filing, go to https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B-SCEYNN-_aeRXhwRVFJZFJrZDg&usp=sharing (Credit: Alyansa Tigil Mina)
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