Green group “serenade” DENR Secretary to heed their demands
ATM Press Statement | July 25, 2022
On the day of the State of the Nation Address, environmental and human rights activists converged at the DENR to serenade DENR Secretary Toni Yulo-Gonzaga and urge her to heed their demands concerning mining.
Bearing flowers, fruits, seafoods and crafts from mining sites of struggles as “pasalubongs”, members of Alyansa Tigil Mina rendered songs to appeal to the DENR Secretary to implement their First 100 Days Agenda.
“We are here on the day of the SONA to show our openness to work with the new DENR Secretary in order to advance the cause of mining communities against destructive mining,” said Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator.
Christel Yparraguire of Baywatch Foundation Inc. pointed out “that many with vested interests in the mining industry will also woo the new DENR Secretary, but we appeal to Sec. Yulo-Loyzaga to take our side as we will stand by her pro-environment and scientific stance that serve to benefit future generations and mining-affected communities, and address climate change.”
Malou Verano from Aroroy, Masbate and member of ATM’s Women and Mining Working Group said that “it is time that the mining industry is rationalized and that the ban on open-pit mining be again enforced.”
“Mining destroys our communities and deprives us of our livelihood and sources of food. Also, it causes pollution of our food and waters and severely affects our health. We have had no choice but to endure, eat contaminated food and suffer from tuberculosis and food poisoning,” Verano said.
The group submitted their First 100 Days Agenda to the Office of the DENR Secretary. The agenda includes the revocation of EO 130 or Duterte’s mining policy, as well as the imposition of a ban on open-pit mining.
“Should Sec. Yulo-Loyzaga choose to listen to our demands, she can be assured that we will support her until the end, until our agenda are met and implemented. She will have our support against corporate mining interests and those who would try to use her to destroy the environment and communities for the sake of profit,” Garganera concluded.
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