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ATM lauds filing of legal case against OceanaGold’s mining contract in Nueva Vizcaya

ATM Statement | April 23, 2024

Alyansa Tigil Mina lauded the filing of a Petition for Certiorari and Mandamus to cancel the 2021 renewal of the Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) of OceanaGold Philippines, Inc. (OGPI).

 

Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator, said, “We fully support the petitioners in this legal move to have OceanaGold’s FTAA cancelled. We are one with them in asserting that the contract is illegal as there were no consultations and environmental impact assessment (EIA) prior to the FTAA’s renewal.”

 

“It is unacceptable that the mining contract was renewed for another 25 years in the absence of an EIA and the consent of the communities,” he added.

 

“Instead of pursuing mining and consequently destroying the environment, government should protect the watershed of Nueva Vizcaya,” Garganera said. “Moreover, government and OceanaGold should respect local laws, particularly the Environment Code of the province, which bans open-pit mining.”

 

The Diocese of Bayombong along with communities and civil society in Nueva Vizcaya filed the 400-page petition on Earth Day, April 22, before the Regional Trial Court in Bayombong.

 

The petitioners led by Bishop Elmer Mangalinao, argued that under Sections 26 and 27 of the Local Government Code, the national government is required to conduct local consultation and secure prior consent for every environmentally critical project, including the renewal of Oceanagold’s FTAA.

 

They also cited Presidential Decree No. 1151, Presidential Decree No. 1586, and the Philippine Mining Act, which require an Environmental Clearance Certificate (ECC) and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) based on an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for every environmentally critical project.

 

“We hope that the FTAA of OceanaGold will be eventually cancelled.” Garganera said. ”We urge the government to heed the communities’ call – food, not mining. What the province needs is not more mining but support for agriculture and people’s livelihoods. Sustainable development programs should instead be pursued,” he concluded.

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