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Government regulatory capacity questioned amidst mudslide in Surigao mine

ATM Statement |May 15, 2024

In the wake of a mudslide that buried houses in Siana, Mainit, Surigao del Norte due to the collapse of a portion of the tailings storage facility of Greenstone Resources Corp. (GRC), Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) questioned the government’s capacity to regulate the mining industry and ensure the safety of communities.


Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator said, “Are we really benefiting from all these mining concessions around us, or are we just endangering people's lives? Why is the PBBM administration revitalizing the mining industry when mining disasters happen one after the other?”


Just in February this year, a massive landslide in a mining village in Maco, Davao de Oro caused at least 35 deaths, 32 injured and 77 missing. It is believed that the mining operations of Apex Mining Company Inc. contributed to the landslide.


Garganera reiterated its call for the DENR to focus on increasing its capacities to monitor, assess and penalize erring mining companies for their violations or non-compliance.


“Moreover, we demand that government seriously reconsider its policy of pushing for more mining just so it could meet the transition minerals requirement of China, US and EU. These are misplaced policies that may lead to more “sacrifice zones”. We don’t need more communities suffering from human rights violations, environmental damage, and mining disasters for the sake of extracting transition minerals for other countries.” he said.


“What is needed is a rationalized approach to mining. The current Mining Act of the Philippines has to be repealed and replaced with a new law that puts premium on the decisions of communities and the impact of mining to the environment at the same time that is serves the nation’s needs for minerals,” he said.


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