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ATM Statement | February 14, 2024

Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) joins civil society organizations and progressive movements in rejecting any move to amend the 1987 Philippine Constitution.

Tampering with the charterโ€™s economic provisions to allow 100% foreign ownership, particularly of our land and natural resources, is highly detrimental to the countryโ€™s sustainable development. It renders the whole nation vulnerable to the destructive exploitation by foreign firms, whose primary motivation is profit over environmental protection and peopleโ€™s welfare.

Also, lifting the restrictions on foreign investments is tantamount to giving up our sovereignty and being a colony of foreign corporations. Plus, this may potentially result in a highly-skewed wealth distribution, where foreign firms who own land and natural resources reap more profits while government only gets measly taxes.

Particular to the mining industry, charter change would further expand the extractives industry. The likely result would be flattened mountains, razed forests, choked rivers, ghost towns, and exacerbated impacts of climate change. Added to these are: the loss of peopleโ€™s livelihoods, ill health, worsening human rights violations, and more burdens to women and indigenous groups.


At present, Republic Act No. 7942 (Philippine Mining Act of 1995) already allows for 100% ownership of minerals by a foreign entity under the Financial and/or Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA). The Supreme Court found this unconstitutional in January 2004, but the decision was reversed a few months later. In its earlier decision, the Court found that by allowing 100% foreign ownership of minerals, the lawful claim of affected communities, specifically indigenous peoples, over their lands are jeopardized.

RA7942 legitimizes the plunder of our national patrimonyโ€”literally moving our mountains, destroying our forests, contaminating our rivers and water systems, and polluting the air we breathe. Eventually, when disasters occur and when the minerals are gone, communities are abandoned and left to suffer alone. This situation will only worsen if ChaCha prospers and transnational corporations are allowed to act with impunity.

Apart from amending the Constitutionโ€™s economic provisions, we also reject any move to incorporate political reforms, most especially shifting to other forms of government or lifting term limits. We are wary that the true agenda of ChaCha is to perpetuate in positions of power incumbent officials, notably President Ferdinand โ€œBongbongโ€ Marcos and Speaker Martin Romualdez.

We call on the government to focus on addressing the pressing problems of the nation instead of wasting resources on ChaCha initiatives. We demand that our government leaders completely stop pushing for their vested interests and instead work for genuine solutions to our economic woes.

We call on the Filipino people not to be deceived by the misleading rhetoric of the proponents of charter change. Similar to previous charter change attempts, the current push for constitutional amendments must be stopped. Whether through a Peopleโ€™s Initiative, a Constituent Assembly or a Constitutional Convention, charter change must not be allowed. Together, let us resist ChaCha!


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