Thursday, May 14, 2009
Alternative Law Groups Inc.
WE, the Alternative Law Groups (ALG) Inc., a coalition of twenty (20) legal-resource non-government organizations, express our support for the passage into law of the Alternative Mining Bill.
We are alarmed at the worsening state of mining practices in the country and the scale though which the government pushes for the revitalization of the mining industry.
We have witnessed the destructive effects of mining on human and other life forms – violations of peoples’ rights, fish kill, environmental destruction, pollution, and effects on health including HIV and Aids – which are glaringly illustrated in the cases of Canatuan in Zamboanga del Norte, in the communities in Benguet and the wasted rivers of Marinduque.
We recognize that the destruction that mining causes do not only wreak havoc on our environment, but also across the concerns of the various basic sectors whom we work with: the farmers, the fisherfolk, indigenous peoples, women and children, labour and the local governments.
We believe that there is a need to challenge the government’s misrepresentations that mining is the solution to the economic and social woes of this country.
We believe that there is a need to challenge the government’s misrepresentations regarding the benefits of mining, as well as the law and policy framework on which these premises were based.
We condemn and call for the scrapping of the Mineral Action Plan of the current administration which seeks to facilitate the approval of all kinds of mining permit applications in the shortest time possible that threaten the human and resource tenure rights of the poor and marginalized sectors that have long been ignored by the government.
We commit to contribute, as a coalition, what we can to uphold the rights of the poor and the marginalized, and achieve a more ecologically sound, gender-fair, equitable system of resource management in the country.
The ALG members are: Albert Schweitzer Association Philippines, Inc. (Asap); Alternative Law Research and Development Center (Alterlaw); Ateneo Human Rights Center (AHRC); Balay Alternative Legal Advocates for Development in Mindanaw (Balaod Mindanaw), Children’s Legal Bureau (CLB); Environmental Legal Assistance Center (Elac); EngenderRights Inc. (Engenderights); Free Rehabilitation, Economic, Education and Legal Assistance Volunteer Association Inc. (Freelava); Kaisahan Tungo sa Kaunlaran ng Kanayunan at Repormang Pansakahan (Kaisahan); Kanlungan Center Foundation Inc. (Kanlungan); Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center Inc.-Kasama sa kalikasan – Friends of the Earth Philippines (LRC-ksk-FOE); Tanggapang Panligal ng Katutubong Pilipino (Panlipi); Panglilingkod Batas Pangkapatiran Foundation (PBPF); Pilipina Legal Resources Center (PLRC); Participatory Research Organization of Communities and Education Towards Struggle for Self-Reliance-Panay (Process-Panay); Sentro ng Alternatibong Lingap Panligal (Saligan); Tanggol Kalikasan (TK); Tebtebba Indigenous Peoples’ International Center for Policy Research and Education (Tebtebba); Women’s Legal Bureau (WLB); Women’s Legal Education, Advocacy and Defense Foundation Inc. (Womenlead).
(ALG may be reached at email@example.com)