AWARD-WINNING GREEN PRIEST REAFFIRMS CALL FOR NEW MINING BILL
MANILA – After receiving the Goldman Environmental Award last April for his efforts against a large-scale nickel mining project in Mindoro Island, Fr. Edu Gariguez, secretary-general of the Catholic Bishops Conferences of the Philippines – National Secretariat for Social Action-Justice and Peace (CBCP-NASSA) intensifies his advocacy for rational change in the mining industry and urges the government and Filipinos to support the Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB).
In a forum organized by Green Convergence, a broad coalition of environmental groups and individuals, in celebration of World Environment Month on June 15 at the Kamayan Restaurant in Mandaluyong City, on the mining and land use issue in the Philippines, Gariguez explained that the Mining Act of 1995 should have been scrapped already after countless reports on the harsh effects of mining on the environment, water, food and the affected communities.
“The new mining bill is necessary to save whatever is left in our country,” Gariguez added.
Gariguez further explained that since 2006, the Catholic Bishops has been calling for the repeal of the Mining Act of 1995 which they believe is flawed. “It failed to consider the geographical characteristics of our country that may not be conducive to large-scale mining activities, especially in our island ecosystems.”
Nina Galang, president of Green Convergence, echoed the call of Fr.Edu and said, “The size and fragility of our islands, our mountainous topography and our location in an earthquake zone points to the irrationality of large-scale mining in our country. Its benefits, if any, are greatly outweighed by the environmental and social destruction it causes”
Meanwhile, Jaybee Garganera, national coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina said it is about time that the public makes a stand on the mining issue. “We cannot just let the mining industry do its business without being accountable for the damage to the environment and the lives of the affected communities.”
“Yes, we use our cellphones everyday, our laptops and many other things that we get from mining, but that does not mean that will just allow mining industry destroy our environment and trample on Human Rights particularly of the Indigenous Peoples. Ganun na lang bay un? Dapat hindi!”
The AMMB is being pushed by Alyansa Tigil Mina and its partner organizations and is now being heard by the Natural Resources Committee in Congress. (30)
Alyansa Tigil Mina is an alliance of mining-affected communities and their support groups of NGOs/POs and other civil society organizations who are opposing the aggressive promotion of large-scale mining in the Philippines. The alliance is currently pushing for a moratorium on mining, revocation of Executive Order 270-A, repeal of the Mining Act of 1995 and passage of the AMMB.
For more information:
Fr Edu Gariguez, CBCP-NASSA Executive Secretary, 09198005595
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator – 09277617602
Farah Sevilla – email@example.com; 0915-3313361
Edel S. Garingan – firstname.lastname@example.org; 0922-8918972
ATM Press Release
June 17, 2012
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