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Anti-mining advocates launch fresh bid for alternative mining law
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Monday, 22 August 2016 19:10
Alyansa Tigil Mina
PRESS RELEASE

Anti-mining advocates launch fresh bid for alternative mining law

MANILA, 22 August 2016  – Civil society network Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) today launched a  series of mobilizations and other actions this week to push for the  passage of the Alternative Minerals Management Bill.

A highlight  of their solidarity week of actions, set to coincide with an  international mining conference, will be Senator Risa Hontiveros’ filing  of the AMMB in the Senate on Thursday.

Hontiveros,  who led the filing of a 2013 petition to the Supreme Court which  challenged the constitutionality of the 1995 Mining Act, said she  supports ATM’s call to suspend all mining operations in the country and  comprehensively review all existing mining applications.

“I also  support the call for a thorough investigation on the economic benefits  of mining. Once and for all, let the facts speak for themselves if the  mining industry truly serves the strategic interests and welfare of our  nation,” she added.

The alternative mining bill also provides  stronger social and environmental safeguards compared to the current  mining policy, said Ifugao representative Teddy Brawner Baguilat, who  co-filed it last June 30 with Agusan Del Norte’s first district Rep. Lawrence Fortun as House Bill No. 113.

“In  the last four years alone, at least four major disasters related to  mining occurred and irreparably damaged various ecosystems,” Baguilat  said. “Mining sites likewise continue to invite conflict, violence and  human rights violations.”

Dinagat Islands Rep. Kaka Bag-ao and Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin have also filed their versions of the AMMB in the Lower House.

ATM  National Coordinator Jaybee Garganera said they welcome the Duterte  administration’s crackdown on mining firms through the ongoing mining  audit. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary  Gina Lopez has called for a review of the Mining Act, calling it an  “unfair” law. President Rodrigo Duterte has also remarked that the  Philippines can and will survive without the mining industry.

“Our  alliance welcomes the mining audit, a standing commitment from the  previous administration, even as we recognize its limitations. The  mining industry must uphold not just the strictest environmental  standards but also the rights of mining-affected communities and the  rest of the Filipino people,” he said.

Other speakers in the  press event were Judy Pasimio of Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s  Rights (LILAK), Governor Carlos Padilla of Nueva Vizcaya, and Fr. Edu  Gariguez of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines-National  Secretariat for Social Action, Justice and Peace, who all highlighted  the different mining issues of affected communities and the need to  address them.

Gov. Padilla, who has championed the AMMB even in  his time in the House of Representatives, said: “Repealing the Mining  Act of 1995 is imperative. The current policy is flawed, exploitative  and already outdated.”

Garganera also warned against the use of  charter change to “open the gates for destructive and extractive  industries, primarily mining.”

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NOTES TO THE EDITOR
Alyansa  Tigil Mina (ATM) is an alliance of mining-affected communities and  their civil society support groups which oppose the aggressive promotion  of large-scale mining in the Philippines. The alliance is currently  pushing for a moratorium on mining, repeal of the 1995 Mining Act, and  passage of the Alternative Minerals Management Bill.

For photos of the press conference, go to http://bit.ly/2bsad2Q (Credit: Alyansa Tigil Mina)

CONTACT:
Jaybee Garganera, National Coordinator, 09175498218 - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Karl Isaac Santos, Media and Communications Officer, 09173011934 - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Last Updated on Monday, 22 August 2016 19:12
 

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