Environmental groups reiterate demand for Philippine Mining Act repeal

This article is available in Pilipino

Katribu, Kalikasan PNE and other democratic groups launched a protest today, March 4, before the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to demand the repeal of the 1995 Philippine Mining Act. In the 29 years of its existence, this law has brought unparalleled damage to the environment and indigenous communities and farmers.

According to Katribu, this law brought no positive effects for the country and the Filipino people. Instead, it facilitated the surrender of national patrimony to foreign companies. It said even though foreigners were banned from owning lands and resources, they were given the right to plunder for a minimum of 50 years.

“Mining companies did most damage to indigenous and Moro communities, where land is protected and rich,” the group says. The reactionary state used its agencies, such as the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples to facilitate the intrusion of companies into ancestral lands. “This is often accompanied by the militarization of communities, supported by the NTF-Elcac and state security forces,” he said.

The groups also demanded justice for all those who died due to mining and other disasters it causes. The latest of these disasters was the landslide in Maco, Davao de Oro, which killed nearly 100 workers and residents in the area. The landslide was caused by Apex Mining’s decades of deforestation and mining in the area.

Multinational companies and the Marcos regime should not be allowed to escape their responsibility for plundering the environment, Kalikasan PNE says.

AB: Environmental groups reiterate demand for Philippine Mining Act repeal