13 May 2009
Today, the Alternative Mining Bill will be filed in Congress to replace the existing anti-Filipino and foreign friendly Mining Act of 1995.
It is high time the Mining Act of 1995 (R.A. 7942) be scrapped that has become so disadvantageous to the the welfare of Philippine economy and the Filipino people.
Mining revitalisation program – a land grabbing tool
The government’s mining revitalisation programme, sadly became a land grabbing tool by mining companies, encroaching and displacing indigenous peoples and rural poor in the countryside. Mining has brought more problems in the already impoverished rural communities; fertile agricultural lands were bulldozed and wasted just to extract the minerals that will only be exported for the huge profit of transnational mining corporations.
FTAA and MPSA – a badge to commit Human Rights Violations
The Financial and Technical Assistance Agreements (FTAA’s) and Mineral Production Sharing Agreements (MPSA’s) given by the government to mining companies became like a badge of a ‘scallywag’ police. Displacing indigenous peoples and rural communities – demolishing their houses as in the case of the Ifugao and Hinaki tribes in Didipio, Nueva Viscaya and Tubay, Agusan de Sur; harassment and killings of anti-mining activists done by goons and private armies of mining companies, and with strong suggestions that the military are condoning these acts. A strong accusation with credibility considering that the government initiated the creation of the ‘investment defence force’ to provide security to mining investments against the opposition of the people.
Rape and plunder
The negative impacts of mining are proven to destroy not just the environment but the livelihood and welfare of the people as well. Marinduque island province suffered the worst ever mining disaster done by Marcopper mining. Marcopper destroyed the two major rivers in the island that until now contains the toxic mine tailings that no living organisms were able to survive up to this day.
Mining has been done for more than 40 years in the island province of Marinduque but it remained a fourth class municipality and one of the poorest province in the country. Marcopper left the people in misery with their toxic wastes and unpaid billions of pesos in taxes due to the local government of Marinduque.
A New and Nationalist oriented mining law
The Alternative Mining Bill should be passed into law to protect our remaining natural resources. The Alternative Mining Bill recognises the importance of utilising our mineral resource and to use the same in building our own basic industries – our export oriented and import dependent economy has driven the Philippine economy to more debts and poverty.
The time is now to end the rape and plunder of our country.
ENACT THE ALTERNATIVE MINING BILL!
STOP THE PLUNDER OF OUR NATURAL RESOURCES; SCRAP THE MINING ACT OF 1995!
For more information please contact us: Ronald A. Gregorio (Campaigns Officer, Legal Rights & Natural Resources Centre); 926-4409; 434 4079, 41-B Mapagsangguni St. , Sikatuna Village , Quezon City