Green Group Slams Plan to Revitalize Mining Industry
ATM Press Statement | July 8, 2022
Alyansa Tigil Mina slammed the Department of Finance’s pronouncement that government plans to accelerate the revival of the local mining industry in order to support the country’s economic recovery.
“This is very alarming, especially for mine-affected communities who have to deal with the negative impacts of mining. A revitalization of the mining industry could only lead to food and water insecurity, land-use changes, loss of biodiversity, soil erosion, air and water pollution and the displacement of communities,” said Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator.
Garganera said that environmental concerns should be among government’s highest priority in its economic recovery program. “Ignoring the harmful environmental consequences of mining in the drive to revitalize the mining industry could only do more damage to the economy.”
He said the way out of the economic slump is not more environmental degradation but a “a rational management of the country’s natural resources, especially at this time of climate change and looming disasters.”
“It is imperative that alternatives to mining be pursued if government truly wants to revive the economy. These include: agro-forestry, eco-tourism and watershed development, agriculture and fisheries, and community-based enterprises,” he said.
ATM demanded a full disclosure of all the mine audit reports and the immediate review of these mine audits. It called on the new administration to immediately convene an environmental summit that will involve affected-communities and environmental groups in order to assess and craft this administration’s environmental and climate program.
The green group also called on government to convene a multi-stakeholder dialogue to tackle current mining issues. The dialogue must involve the DENR-MGB, the mining industry and mine-affected communities and their support groups. Main concerns should cover the assessment of EO 130 or the Mining Policy of the Duterte Administration, review of the lifting of the ban on open-pit mining, and the suspension of illegal mining operations.
Lastly, it challenged the 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.
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