Today marks the 22nd anniversary of the enactment of the Philippine Mining Act of 1995. The Center for Environmental Concerns-Philippines (CEC) is one among countless crusaders for scrapping this law that for decades has only been used to legitimize the foreign dominated, anti-people and plunderous orientation of the mining industry. We give our full support for DENR’s decision to close 23 and suspend 5 minining operations and cancel 75 Mineral Production Sharing Agreements (MPSAs).
The appointment of Gina Lopez to the top position of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is the most significant change in this institution, historically known to be hopelessly corrupt and graft-ridden. Secretary Lopez may not be an environmental science expert, but her environmental activism has given her enough will to do for the environment and country what previous DENR secretaries failed to do.
The People’s Surge Alliance of Disaster Survivors in Eastern Visayas (People’s Surge), the Center of Environmental Concerns – Philippines (CEC), AGHAM (Advocates of Science and Technology for te People) and the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya (PAMALAKAYA) are holding talks with the DENR and DPWH in efforts to stop the Leyte Tide Embankment Project (LTEP).
“Nandito kami dahil hirap na hirap ang kami sa Tacloban dahil pinapaalis kami ng DPWH dahil sa Tide Embankment Project. Ito ay malaking pader na haharang daw sa storm surge ngunit 4 na metro lang ito ngunit ang storm surge ay maaring umabot ng 6 hanggang 10 metro. Sisirain din nito ang halos 100 ektarya ng bakawan. Hindi kami susuko sa paglaban dito dahil kapag kami ay sumuko, magpapatuloy ang paghihirap ng mamamayan.”
Fisherfolk organizations from 25 provinces from 10 regions headed by the national fisherfolk federation Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) echoed their call to scrap the current Fisheries Code of 1998 (RA 8550) and its Amendments (RA 10654) and push for the passing of a genuine fisheries law that puts the sector at the forefront of managing coastal resources.
Environmental groups criticize the recently concluded mining conference hosted by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) on responsible mining for its 63rd National Mine and Safety Week. Affected communities and survivors of mining-instigated disasters have witnessed and suffered enough on how mining companies disregard the safety and welfare of the local population and how the mining agency allow the erring companies to violate the rights of communities.