Green Group Rejects Push for Revival of Mining Industry
ATM Press Release | June 21, 2022
Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) rejected the recommendation of the Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) pushing for a revival of the mining industry.
The group raised alarm over the dangers of destructive mining following a report that Duterte’s economic team has pushed for more mining projects as part of the post-pandemic recovery program that the next administration will implement.
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator, warned that a revival of the mining industry would lead to more displacement of communities, air and water pollution, loss of biodiversity, soil erosion, land-use changes, and food insecurity. “These impacts are the last things we need in a post-pandemic recovery phase of the Philippines”, he added.
The government’s push was made in light of the Mining Industry Coordinating Council’s (MICC) report that mining and quarrying contributed significantly to the regional gross domestic product in the regions where there are mining operations.
“The mining industry’s economic contribution does not outweigh the harmful impacts to mining-affected communities in particular and the cumulative impacts of climate change and natural disasters for the whole country, in general. Besides, we doubt the claim of the MICC that mining contributes “significantly” to the regional economy, as these computations fail to account for or externalize the costs to the environment, health, cultural displacement and conflict brought by mining.”
Garganera pointed out that data from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) itself reveals the mining industry’s insignificant contribution to the GDP. According to MGB in June 2021, the mining sector accounted for P102.3 billion, equivalent to 0.6% of gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2020. In addition, there were only 184,000 jobs created.
“At present, the government is pushing for mining to help the economy recover from the Covid pandemic-induced slump. However, we do not think that mining is the answer to the country’s economic woes. Instead, a rational management of our natural resources is needed for the sake of future generations. Full disclosure of all the mine audit reports and the reviews of these mine audits must be implemented as soon as possible. Also, alternatives to mining must be considered for reviving the economy. These include: agro-forestry, eco-tourism and watershed development, agriculture and fisheries, and community-based enterprises” Garganera added.
Garganera also challenged the incoming administration of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to prove that it will genuinely promote the welfare of Filipinos by appointing a DENR Secretary that will not favor the mining industry, where his relatives and allies are enjoying beneficial ownership of mining companies and mining projects. #RepealMiningAct
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