ATM Statement on the President’s First 100 Days
ATM Press Statement | October 7, 2022
Alyansa Tigil Mina express our mixed reactions on the First 100 Days of the Presidency of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. regarding mining issues. ATM lauds DENR for Engagement with Stakeholders
On one hand, we are glad that DENR Secretary Toni Yulo-Loyzaga acting quickly to engage stakeholders. Soon after her appointment to the Department, Secretary Loyzaga met with ATM to discuss issues surrounding mining and local communities. And just yesterday, the DENR capped its three-day Multi-Stakeholder Forum with various sectors discussing environmental concerns.
We are also pleased that the Philippines has rejoined the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative or EITI, which promotes open and accountable management of minerals and other extractives projects. We see this as a reassuring signal that the country is serious in making mining companies accountable for their obligations.
On the other hand, we are deeply dismayed that no less than President Marcos, Jr. himself has pressed on supporting more mining. Instead of rationalizing the mining industry and the use of our natural resources, PBBM has easily, yet wrongly, declared the revitalization of the mining industry for the country’s economic recovery.
We are also disappointed with PBBM’s questionable appointees to the Commission on Human Rights. At the same time, we are aghast at his misplaced priorities, as he chooses to put his attention to social events despite the alarming issues of inflation, food insecurity and the impacts of Typhoon Karding.
The link between health and environment has also been neglected by Marcos, Jr., with his failure to appoint a DOH Secretary. In a post-pandemic recovery scenario, an able and full-time DOH Secretary will bring more positive outcomes, rather than simply rely on economic-driven policies of pandemic recovery, such as more mining projects.
We look forward to a more fruitful and meaningful engagement with DENR in the coming months, especially forging partnerships as well as addressing and resolving site-specific issues on mining. We also believe that directly and continually engaging affected communities will benefit DENR in pursuing its policy reform agenda and responding to various environmental and climate change issues.
“Marcos Watch” project to be launched.
ATM is also tasking itself to continue monitoring the Marcos, Jr. administration, and we are launching our “Marcos Watch” monitoring project, specifically on mining-affected communities around the country. Using our 10-point agenda on mining, we will track and assess the performance of this government, and contribute in pursuing meaningful reforms in policy and practice in mining.
We call on other environmental and climate justice groups to complement this effort by monitoring the responses of the Marcos, Jr. admin to other crucial green and climate issues.
We can only hope that for the entire period of his administration, PBBM would get his priorities right and focus on crucial issues facing our country, particularly climate change and the destruction of our environment. Otherwise, we can expect that poverty and inequality in the Philippines will remain unaddressed. #RepealMiningAct #ResponsibleMiningIsFakeNews #BanOpenPitMining
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