Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), together with environmental and human rights advocates, religious and community leaders from affected mining areas in different parts of the country, today thanked several members of the House of Representatives for supporting their call for a review and revision of the mining policies of this country. The group staged a motorcade and marched at the House of Representatives in support of the filing of the Alternative Mining Bill (AMB).
“This term of Congress is nearing its end. Some legislators have already focused their attention on campaign preparations for the coming election and others are just waiting for their term as House Representatives to end. Yet, we are to glad see that there are still diligent legislators whose minds are still focused on their legislative duties and see the urgency of addressing the injustices of the misplaced mining priorities of this administration“, said ATM Coordinator, Jaybee Garganera
“We would like to commend the efforts of Representatives, Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel, Erin Tañada, Walden Bello, Rufus Rodriguez, and Carlos Padilla for filing the AMB today. We are here to echo the struggles of mining affected communities in the Philippines . This day brings new hope to these communities seeking for justice and invigorates the resilience of communities to large-scale mining”, Garganera added.
Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez, from the CBCP, reiterated their call issued last January 2006, where they re-affirmed their stand for the repeal of the Mining Act of 1995. He also recalled the observation of the Bishops as reflected in the same Pastoral Statement that “the promised economic benefits of mining by these transnational corporations are outweighed by the dislocation of communities, especially among our indigenous brothers and sisters.”
Human rights groups also welcomed the move.
“This proposed bill will hopefully address the reported numerous human rights violations committed by the state”, said Dr. Nymia Pimentel-Simbulan, Executive Director of the Philippine Human Rights Information Centre (PhilRights).
The Alternative Mining Bill (AMB) is a proposed policy to scrap the Mining Act of 1995 and introduce a new mining policy to regulate the rational exploration, development and utilization of mineral resources onshore (as well as quarry resources, sand and gravel, guano, and gemstones) and ensure the equitable sharing of benefits for the State, indigenous peoples and local communities and for other purposes. AMB excludes offshore mining and other resources such as petroleum and coal natural gas, radioactive materials, and geothermal energy as these are resources which require specific laws.
The Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), an advocacy group and a people’s movement that upholds the rights of the present and future Filipinos against the persisting injustices related to mining, is an alliance of mining-affected communities and their support groups of NGOs/POs and other civil society organizations convened by HARIBON Foundation, Legal Rights and Natural Resources Centre – Kasama sa Kalikasan / Friends of the Earth Philippines (LRC-KsK/FoE Phils.) and Philippine Partnership for the Development of Human Resources in Rural Areas (PhilDHRRA) .
For more information:
Jaybee Garganera, ATM Coordinator, (0915) 315.3719
Roslyn Arayata, ATM Policy Research and Advocacy Officer, (0917)521.7937