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.
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.