ATM Statement on Pres. Duterte's SONA 2017
ATM fully supports Pres. Duterte's announcement in his SONA to push for a new mining law.
However, to address the issues brought by negative impacts of mining, we recommend to Pres. Duterte that a critical first step is for him to confirm the cancellation and suspension orders issued by former DENR Sec. Gina Lopez. These orders are urgently still pending and being reviewed by the Office of the President.
We expect Pres. Duterte to issue clear instructions to the DENR to strictly enforce the closure and suspension orders against 28 mining companies issued by former DENR Sec. Gina Lopez. Meanwhile, our alliance recommend that Pres. Duterte immediately issue an Executive Order declaring a moratorium on all mining applications and operations.
We expect Congress toheed the President's call to to fast-track the enactment of a new mining law. There are several proposed mining bills in Congress, particularly the Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB) and the new fiscal regime (taxation) on mining.
These mining bills include HB 54 (Rep. Kaka Bag-ao), HB 113 (Rep. Baguilat at Fortun) , HB 2633 (Rep. Villarin).
Our alliance is doubtful that Sec. Cimatu will satisfactorily enforce the policy reforms elaborated by Pres. Duterte. So we remind Sec. Cimatu that he has to listen carefully to the pronouncements of Pres. Duterte.
We will engage the Duterte administration should they call for a summit of all mining stakeholders. We are prepared to submit our recommendations. And we are ready to confront the mining industry and expose that their concept of "responsible mining" is a myth!
The proposal of Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez for mining companies to acquire franchise to be granted by Congress is misplaced. This will only lead to "conflict of interest", as many legislators are beneficial owners of mining companies, or they were supported by mining firms during their candidacy.
Exposing these politicians who have been compromised by the mining industry will be a priority of our alliance. We are finishing our research on mining links of politicians based on the SOCE 2016 elections. We will oppose their participation in Congressional hearings regarding the deliberations for a new mining law.
Localized No-Go Zones legislations in provinces and legislative districts will be pursued by green groups in order to contribute to Pres. Duterte's demands that LGUs do more to protect and conserve our remaining forests and other natural resources.
We hope that this government will tread carefully as it pursues federalism and charter change. As early as now, we register our opposition to changing the economic provisions of the current Constitution to allow for 100% foreign ownership of land and corporations that will result in further plundering our resources. The Filipino people, particularly the rural poor who are severely impacted by destructive mining operations need more time, opportunities and interaction to fully internalize and genuinely debate the merits of Charter Change and the shift to federalism.
Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) 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.
For more information:
ATM National Coordinator, Jaybee Garganera- 09175498218, firstname.lastname@example.org