ATM Statement on recent DENR positions on mining
July 13, 2016
ATM welcomes the pronouncements of DENR Sec. Gina Lopez on mining issues. Particularly, we support the moves to immediately conduct an audit of all mining project, a moratorium on mining applications, and her personal position against open-pit mining. Our alliance also believes that Sec. Lopez made the correct call in stating publicly that we need a new mining law.
The mining audit and the moratorium on mining applications are provisions under Executive Order 79 of the Aquino administration, and so these administrative priorities are well past due. We commend Sec. Lopez for fast-tracking these audit and putting in place the moratorium within the first 30 days of the Duterte administration. We recommend to Sec. Lopez to ensure that the audit is not limited to technical and operational matters of mining projects, but also look into social, economic, political, health and gender impacts of these mining projects to the host-communities. It is also critical that pending/live legal cases or complaints against the mining company and their operations are investigated as part of the audit.
We categorically support the ban on open-pit mining policy, particularly in areas designated and identified by the DENR-MGB as “No-Go Zones”. These no-go zones have been reflected in maps produced by MGB, and should be strictly implemented.
ATM believes that “responsible mining” remains to be a myth, and it has no legal definition yet. The proposed Alternative Minerals Resrouces Bill (AMMB) otherwise known as the Philippine Mineral Resources Act (PMRA) pending in Congress is our proposal to frame the legal and operational definition of responsible mining.
We challenge both the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (CoMP) and the DENR under Sec. Lopez to seriously consider the AMMB as a starting point to discuss the concept of responsible mining. We assert that “responsible mining” cannot be reduced to ISO certification, as earlier proposed by DENR-MGB.
Finally, we would like to extend our support to Sec. Lopez as she attempts to bring change to DENR. The mining-affected communities, their support groups and even LGUs are more than willing to submit reports, evidences, affidavits, petitions, testimonies, case studies and other relevant information to push forward with her change agenda within the DENR, in alignment with the instructions of President Duterte.
In behalf of Alyansa Tigil Mina,
ATM National Coordinator
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