This March 3 marks the 24th year since the enactment of Republic Act (RA) 7942 or the Mining Act of 1995, well-known across social sectors and communities for serving as the fuel to the state machinery that liberalizes the domestic mining industry. The RA 7942 lifted regulatory measures on foreign access and control on mining in the Philippines, encouraging unfettered exploration, development, and utilization of the nation’s mineral resources. Today, the Center for Environmental Concerns – Philippines (CEC) joins the protest against this policy together with the indigenous people, farmers, and fellow environmental advocates.
This month marks the 23rd year of legal plunder of our country’s minerals under the Philippine Mining Act of 1995. It promises national growth and development while ostensibly safeguarding the environment and protecting the rights of communities, but its neoliberal framework for profit has unleashed destruction on vast swathes of ecosystems and human rights violations.
The Center for Environmental Concerns – Philippines condemn in the strongest possible terms the atrocious move by the interagency Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) to lift the ban on open pit mining that was issued by the former Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) secretary Gina Lopez. This recommendation will allow large-scale mining companies to wantonly continue the plunder of the country’s natural resources and the destruction of people’s communities and livelihoods.
We urgently call to end the ongoing airstrikes and aerial bombings by state forces in Mount Banoi, Batangas. The attacks that started since September 24, 2017 were conducted by the 202nd Infantry Brigade and the 730th Combat Group of the Philippine Air Force and may have already dealt significant adverse impacts to the ecological integrity of the fifth most biologically diverse mountain in the country.
The Center for Environmental Concerns-Philippines (CEC) along with its grassroots partner Movement for the Protection of Livelihood, Environment and People’s Safety in Zambales (MOVE NOW! Zambales) strongly condemn the Commission on Appointments’ rejection of Ms. Regina Paz Lopez as secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.