Tag Archives: ATM

[Press Release] Unity leads the way against illegal mining operations -ATM

Photo by ATM

KASIBU, NUEVA VIZCAYA – Nationwide members and partners of Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) visit Barangay Didipio in solidarity with the barricade of DESAMA to call the immediate removal of OceanaGold Philippines Inc. (OGPI) operations in the area.

A day after the expiration of the Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) of OGPI in 2019, farmers and indigenous peoples of DESAMA set up a people barricade in Brgy. Didipio on June 21, 2019, to prevent the illegal operations of OGPI.

“Since the 1990s, we have been fighting OceanaGold. We repeat we did not want mining before. We do not want mining now,” asserted Lorenzo Pulido, DESAMA.

OGPI’s FTAA expired on June 20, 2019, terminating their “legal rights” to extract copper and gold from the mountains of Nueva Vizcaya. Three months have passed since the expiration of the FTAA. Yet, the illegal operations of OGPI continue to operate, increasing the irreparable damage to the mountains and water source, not only in Nueva Vizcaya but also in the surrounding provinces.

“We stand with our brothers and sisters in demanding accountability from OGPI for the violations they committed and the environmental destruction they have caused,” said Rene Pamplona, Chairperson, ATM.

OGPI has been operating in the province for 25 years. In 2011, the Commission on Human Rights Report accused OGPI of committing multiple violations that continue to threaten the safety and security of locals in Didipio. Several accounts narrated how OGPI utilizes intimidation tactics. They would visit the homes of community members and threatening legal suits against community members to coerce locals in surrendering their consent in the expansion of OGPI’s operation. Local and international human rights organizations have also documented a multitude of violations perpetrated by OGPI.

The continued effort of DESAMA, together with the community of Nueva Vizcaya, has led to the delay of the renewal of OGPI’s FTAA. The Nueva Vizcaya community utilized a multi-faced front from the LGU’s effort at lobbying and setting up checkpoints to community leaders leading the campaign and barricade against OGPI.

“We need to amplify the voice of the community, of the women and the youth, we should expose the violations of OGPI thus we in LILAK will continue to link indigenous women in Didipio to other communities who continue to resist destructive projects that threaten their rights, land, and life,” stated Cheryl Polutan, LILAK – Purple Action for Indigenous Women

On October 15, 2019, Mick Wilkes, President, and CEO of Australia’s OcenaGold Corp., the parent company of OGPI, issued a statement declaring that they will temporarily suspend production in Didipio. The delay of the FTAA renewal and the uncertainty of the injunction decision in the Court of Appeals led to the decision.

“This is proof that when communities affected by mining lead the fight against mining. Their unity inspires other partners and us nationwide in continuing the fight. We remain adamant in our mission to hold these companies accountable by working with our local community partners leading the way,” echoed Jaybee Garganera, National Coordinator, ATM.

ATM will continue to uphold and promote the rights of the environment and the people that defend it.

Paul Joshua Pangan
Campaign Officer, Legislative Advocacy and Campaign
Alyansa Tigil Mina

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[Press Release] Groups strengthen opposition against OGPI FTAA renewal in Bishops-LGU-Community dialogue in Nueva Vizcaya -ATM

Photo by ATM

Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya – Provincial Governor Carlos Padilla, local communities, indigenous people, and church organizations sustained strong opposition on the Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) renewal of Oceanagold Philippines Inc (OGPI) in a dialogue held today at Saint Mary’s University.

The Bishops-LGU-Community dialogue activity was co-hosted by Bishop Jose Elmer Mangalinao of the Diocese of Bayombong and the Provincial Government of Nueva Vizcaya. It was organized by the National Secretariat of Social Action (CBCP-NASSA), the Philippine Misereor Partnership, Inc. (PMPI) and Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM).

Padilla reiterated the stance of the province, in demanding the immediate cancellation of the mining contract of OGPI. “This issue created political and social division and increased crime incidence in the region. The mine operations contaminated watershed. Its tailings do not only pollute Didipio but the entire Nueva Vizcaya. What has been destroyed by mining could not be repaired” he stated.

“Freedom is spontaneous obedience of the law. If the FTAA has expired, what is the basis of Oceanagold to operate? The company appealed the removal of the checkpoint in court. They can feel the strength of the community,” Padilla added.

Meanwhile, Bp. Mangalinao shared his reflection on the mining issue in Nueva Vicaya. “Convergence is the reality of ‘together we are one, together we achieve more. This speaks of the strength of communities in facing hardships. With Laudato Si, CBCP is more serious and upfront on its actions to protect our common home,” he said.

Last September 24, 2019, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) announced the interim renewal of OGPI’s FTAA in a press conference despite public resistance and clear LGU directives. Environmental groups and local governments from Nueva Vizcaya expressed their disappointment on the development.

“The strong resistance of local communities from Nueva Vizcaya against mining shows the trauma they experienced from the destructive effects to livelihood, land, and water. We must never allow another 25 years-worth of damage to environment and violations to human rights,” according to Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator.

International news agency Reuters published: ‘OceanaGold suspends Didipio mine operations in Philippines amid dispute’ as the dialogue was in progress. Didipio communities, ATM, and partners were extremely delighted on the development. Years of struggles have finally paid off.

Reuters wrote, “OceanaGold had initially stopped trucking while operations at Didipio continued, despite a move by the Nueva Vizcaya government to impede access to and from the mine site.”

There is an ongoing barricade at the gates of OGPI. Nueva Vizcaya Quirino Waterwatch, Alyansa ng Magsasaka para sa Kalikasan ng Kasibu, and Didipio Earth Savers Movement (DESAMA) sustained their protest for three months since the company’s 25-year permit expired.

In a statement from OceanaGold President and CEO Mick Wilkes expressed that with the timing of the Court of Appeals injunction decision uncertain, and efforts to finalize a renewal of the FTAA ongoing, they have no other choice but to temporarily suspend production at Didipio.

Nonetheless, anti-mining groups will remain vigilant. OceanaGold’s suspension of the Didipio mine is only temporary. As long as the application for FTAA renewal of OGPI is not rejected or scrapped by the Office of the President, the people’s barricade will stay.

“Mining is contrary to the essence of Laudato Si. Extreme weather events, global warming, and disasters due to the climate emergency call for bolder actions towards environmental protection, and the passage of the Rights of Nature. The National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA)/ Caritas Philippines will continue to support the people’s barricade in Didipio,” said Fr. Edwin Gariguez, Executive Secretary of NASSA.

For more information, you may contact:
Caryl Pillora
Policy, Research, and Advocacy Officer of Alyansa Tigil Mina
+63 945 246 7271 * policyresearchadvocacy@alyansatigilmina.net

Jaybee Garganera
National Coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina
+63 917 549 8218 * nc@alyansatigilmina.net

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[Press Release] Defend Environmental Activists: The Philippine Climate Crisis -ATM

QUEZON CITY – Two hundred people from Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice and Power 4 People Coalition assemble in front of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) office; highlighting the current state of human rights violations and killings of environmental defenders.

According to the Global Witness Report in 2018, the Philippines rank 1st in being the most dangerous place for environmental activists. Activists, at the forefront of stopping destructive mining operations, illegal logging and development aggression, have been the victims of intimidation, falsified legal suits, and violence.

“The Duterte administration’s stand on human rights and the environment did not help. It only worsened the situation for locals in their fight to protect the environment,” said Atty. Aaron Pedrosa, Sanlakas.

Last July 1, 2016, unknown shooters gunned down Gloria Capitan, an anti-coal activist from Mariveles, Bataan. Even indigenous peoples, stewards of the environment, have been targeted for their land. Last December 2017, military and paramilitary forces attacked a T’boli-Manobo tribe in Southern Mindanao, killing Datu Victor Danyan, the vi llage chief. Just this month illegal loggers brutally killed Bienvenido “Toto” Veguilla, Jr., a forest ranger from Palawan.

“Napakarami nang dumanak na dugo sa pagtatanggol ng lupa at kalikasan. Tigilan na ang pananakot at pagpatay sa aming mga katutubo,” said Teresa Dela Cruz, LILAK-Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights.

(Too much blood has been shed in our struggle for land and environment. Stop intimidating and killing us, indigenous peoples.)

Development aggression and profit-seeking corporations have been the leading cause of these attacks. They have also been the reason for the current state of our environment.

“These aggressive development projects of corporations to increase their bottom line has pushed the planet to its ecological limit,” stated Jaybee Garganera, National Coordinator, ATM.

Development ventures such as large-scale mining and illegal logging have caused irreparable damage to the Philippines’ forest and mountains. More so, bringing violence to communities.

“We call on the government to defend the people. To protect their homes, their water supply, their food source, and not to protect the corporations that bring violence,” added Garganera.

ATM will continue to uphold and promote the rights of the environment and the people that defend it.


Paul Joshua D. Pangan
Campaign Officer, Legislative Advocacy and Campaign
Alyansa Tigil Mina

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[Statement] ATM Statement on the passage of a new mining tax bill at Senate

ATM Statement on the passage of a new mining tax bill at Senate

The Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) is an alliance of more than a hundred people’s organizations, Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), national environmental groups, Church groups and academic institutions who have decided to collectively challenge the aggressive promotion of large-scale mining in the Philippines through policy and advocacy works.

Congress has gifted the mining industry with lower taxes and royalty payments, with the passage of HB 8400 (An Act Establishing the Fiscal Regime for the Mining Industry) last October 10, 2018. The House Committee on Ways and Means passed the bill sponsored by Rep. Estrellita Suansing, Chairperson of the committee. Reportedly, it will replace HBs 422 and 7994.

Read full article @www.alyansatigilmina.net

 

[Statement] 2 years into the Duterte Administration, mining activists are frustrated -ATM

ATM Statement on Reversal of Mine Closure Orders

2 years into the Duterte Administration, mining activists are frustrated

We, the Alyansa Tigil Mina, strongly express our frustration over the announcement of the Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) that it will overturn the closure orders against 22 mine operations. Our alliance firmly believes that there is enough sound basis from the DENR Mining Audit in 2016 that led to the closure and suspension orders of these 26 mining projects last February 2017.

We are deeply concerned that DoF Usec. Bayani Agabin told reporters last week that the initial results of the MICC review will be recommending to President Duterte the resumption of mine operations. This, allegedly after the MICC technical review teams reported that the mine companies have complied with the technical and legal requirements in their operations. The mining companies and their areas of operations were not revealed, with Agabin only citing that 3 nickel mines and 1 chromite failed the review.

We see the results of this MICC review as both questionable and suspicious. It is regrettable that at this very early stage of the MICC review which only covered the legal, technical and environmental compliance aspects of the mine operations, Usec. Agabin had to make a sweeping statement that was open to misinterpretation by the general public.

The social impacts, ecological costs and economic trade-offs of the mining projects have not been included yet, and so to recommend the reversal of the closure and suspension orders is premature at best, and a biased position of a government official at worst. ATM is frankly not surprised that Usec. Agabin has a very friendly demeanor to the mining industry, since he came from their ranks as a former mining executive.

It is important to emphasize that the decision to close or suspend the 26 mines were based on audit reports done by a multi-sectoral team headed by DENR officials. The audit reports cited illegal tree-cutting activities, non-compliance with ECC conditions and even violations of environmental laws as some of the basis of the closure or suspension orders.

Mining-affected communities have provided numerous and verifiable evidences on the negative impacts these mining operations have brought.

In Nueva Vizcaya, potable water supply in Didipio, Kasibu town have dried up, even after the gold-mining operations of OceanaGold Phils., Inc. (OGPI) were ordered suspended. The provincial government of Nueva Vizcaya even has digital images proving that OGPI had illegally operated outside its mining tenement, a violation that is a basis for the cancellation of a mining contract.

In the town of Sta. Cruz, Zambales, four nickel mining projects were canceled after more than 800 hectares of irrigated rice lands were destroyed and about 1,000 fishers and fishpond owners lost their livelihoods due to river and coastal contamination of nickel laterites.

In Palawan, Citinickel and Berong Nickel were ordered suspended, after their operations were reported to have caused siltation in the river and coastal waters.

In Homonhon Island, Eastern Samar, 3 mining projects were cancelled after they caused destruction of a watershed and siltation of coastal areas. Residents have also reported unregulated tree-cutting in the area, but unclear if tree-cutting permits were issued.

In CARAGA region, where more than half of the cancelled mine projects are located, mining operations were reported to be mining in watershed areas, siltation of coastal areas, and negative impacts to the island’s eco-system. In the town of Cantilan, Surigao del Sur, Marcventures Minerals Development Corp. (MMDC) continue to destroy forest and ancestral lands within the Mt. Hilong Hilong Protected Area and the Carac-an Protected Watershed area. These two landscapes with protected area status are clearly no-go zones for mining as stipulated in Exec. Order 79. The ecosystem has been crippled to the extent that flashfloods and landslides occurred in the area early this year after a typhoon, prompting an investigation by DENR.

ATM joins mining-affected communities in resisting the continued operations and planned expansion of these mining projects. The full enforcement of the mine closures has not been implemented. The environmental destruction and social sufferings have continued despite the closure and suspension orders.

ATM together with the rest of environmental rights defenders and land rights defenders will never hesitate to support communities in blocking the reversal of these mine closure orders.

It is important to remind the MICC that its review process is still incomplete, particularly if the social and health aspects of mine operations have not been incorporated in the assessment process. The DOF and the DENR must exercise prudent leadership in the MICC, and avoid making hasty remarks about its recommendations on the mine closure orders.

We demand that the MICC make a public disclosure of their findings and recommendations as soon as possible. Equally important is the disclosure of the methodology and tools used by the technical review team in their assessment. This track is only consistent with the preferred policy and practice of President Duterte on freedom of information.

We also demand that the MICC conduct public consultations and validation exercises with the mining-affected communities about the results of the MICC review. These consultations should provide space for meaningful participation of communities and their support groups of environmental NGOs and human rights organizations.

Knowing full well that the MICC is only recommendatory, and that the President will have the final say on the fate of the cancelled and suspended mining contracts. We strongly urge President Duterte to give clear instructions to the MICC about the operations of these open-pit mining projects, and for him to remind the MICC that open-pit mining has destroyed forests and watersheds.

On the occasion of the second year of the Duterte administration, we reiterate the following calls to President Duterte:

1.Given the failure of the MICC to take into account the social, health and peace costs of mining operations, we urge the President to uphold the mine closures and suspension orders. A revamp of the MICC is in order for while it has done everything in favor of mining operations, it has done little or nothing in alleviating and addressing the suffering of mining-affected communities.

2. Executive Order 79 (EO 79 or the Responsible Mining policy) must be fully implemented, and we strongly encourage Pres. Duterte to enforce the “no go zones”, the performance audit of mine operations and the moratorium on mining applications.

3 DAO 2017-10 (Ban on open-pit mining) must be fully implemented, and an Executive Order strengthening its implementation should be issued by President Duterte as soon as possible.

4. DAO 2017-07 (Mandatory participation in EITI) must be fully implemented, and Pres. Duterte should instruct DENR Sec. Cimatu to ensure the compliance of all mining companies to this administrative order;

5. Given the current serious risks and threats posed by climate change (e.g., flashfloods, landslides, erosions, extreme weather events, etc.), we appeal to the Office of the President to consider establishing a moratorium on mining operations, especially in areas characterized as highly susceptible to climate change risks or are highly-vulnerable geo-hazard zones.

6. With the reduced rice production capacity of the Philippines, and reduced fish-catch brought by coastal contamination and climate change, a direct threat to food security is now present. We ask Pres. Duterte to instruct Dept. of Agriculture Sec. Manny Pinol to issue the maps of Special Agricultural and Fisheries Development Zones (SAFDZs) that are considered as no-go zones for mining and other destructive practices.

7.Pres. Duterte should issue an order declaring all functioning watershed areas in the Philippines, as well as small-island ecosystems, to be no-go zones for mining and other destructive practices.

Follow ATM @
Facebook: @alyansatigilmina
Twitter: @atm_philippines

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[Announcement] ATM Media and Communication Officer

MEDIA AND COMMUNICATION OFFICER

We are Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), an alliance of mining-affected communities and their support organizations, challenging the aggressive promotion of destructive large-scale mining in the Philippines. As a national campaign, we are working with more than a hundred local and national groups.

We are looking for someone who will lead our communication and media work as a full-time staff.

We need someone who will:

  • Be responsible for the production and coordination of communication materials for campaigns and advocacy projects such as articles, stories, publications and similar information resources.
  • Manage and maintain our website and other social media platforms
  • Coordinate with individuals and organization on the collection, archival and retrieval of media and communication resources
  • Assist in research work and other field documentation requirements
  • Work with our media partners and coordinate campaign actions and events

If you are:

  • A graduate of any communication or community development courses or any related
  • Experienced in a similar role in preparing media content and working with media
  • Familiar with social media, blogging and website maintenance;
  • Interested on issues around the environment, natural resources, indigenous peoples and human rights;
  • Computer literate on office/productivity systems;
  • Knowledge in imaging, video or lay-out software is an advantage;
  • Willing to work long hours, travel as part of the work, team player, and able to work under pressure;
  • Team player

Submit resume, application letter and two sample articles to nc@alyansatigilmina.net on or

before Apr. 30, 2018. Only short-listed applicants will be contacted.

Submit your contribution online through HRonlinePH@gmail.com
Include your full name, e-mail address and contact number.

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Announcement] Job opening at Alyansa Tigil Mina

Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), is looking for qualified applicants for the following full-time, project-based positions:

1. Project Coordinator –Advocacy and Lobbying Project
2. Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning (MEAL) Officer
3. Policy Research and Advocacy Officer (PRAO) Kindly refer to the job descriptions and qualifications for each position below.

Please send your resumes and application letters to both the following emails: nc@alyansatigilmina.net and policy@alyansatigilmina.net. Please indicate in the subject header the position that you are applying for. DEADLINE of APPICATION is Oct. 6, 2017

Project Coordinator for Advocacy and Lobbying Project

Job Description:

 

1. Act as Project Coordinator for the advocacy and lobbying project of the organization

2. Perform lead role in planning, implementing and monitoring the project activities

3. Supervise the staff and volunteers involved in the project

4. Lead role in producing and coordinating the documentation, reporting and assessment of the project

5. Represent the organization in networking, linkaging and alliance-building efforts related to the advocacy and lobbying track of the organization

6. Work closely with the ATM secretariat and other pertinent individuals regarding other matters that will enhance the over-all execution and conduct of the project activities for the period.

Qualifications:

At least a Bachelor’s degree in public administration, community development, statistics, social or development related studies; If undergraduate, commensurate work experience in developing and managing M&E programs and interventions will also be considered. Post-graduate degree an advantage.

2. Minimum of 3 years relevant experience, with at least 1 year supervisory role

3. Familiarity with NGOs and development work an advantage

4. Familiarity with environmental issues, natural resources management and rights-based approach to development

5. Knowledge or experience in disaster-response, risk-reduction and relief/emergency, rehabilitation projects an advantage

6. Must be smart, articulate, fast-learner, hardworking, and good in public relations

7. With excellent written and verbal communication skills.

8. A good team player

9. Must be willing to travel outside of Manila

PROJECT MONITORING, EVALUATION and LEARNING (PMEL) OFFICER

Job Description:

Lead role in designing and implementing a monitoring, inspection and evaluation procedures for the project

Ensure the timely gathering, recording and reporting of data and information during project implementation to be used for assessment, evaluation and planning exercises of the project management team

Provide feedback to the project management team on the strategies and activities of the project, as well as inputs on the efficiency and effectiveness of project implementation

Produce the semi-annual and annual reports that capture and describe the progress of the project

Participate in project review activities, including planning workshops

Assist the project team and other project staff in using the M&E tools of the project

Organize and coordinate lessons generated by workshops and reviews of project work 
plans with partners and other stakeholders.

Facilitate documentation and reporting of assessments, program data, lessons learnt 
and best practices for internal and external sharing.

Coordinate with monitoring specialist for reporting and documentation purposes

Act as a focal person for communication in the project, especially in coordinating 
information request and documentation of best practices for internal and external sharing.

Qualifications

At least a Bachelor’s degree in public administration, community development, statistics, social or development related studies; If undergraduate, commensurate work experience in developing and managing M&E programs and interventions will also be considered. Post-graduate degree an advantage.

Ability to work under pressure.

At least one (1) year direct experience on monitoring and evaluation work.

Very good analytical skills, and possess mature judgment combined with a proactive, 
energetic approach to problem solving.

Very good English language proficiency (written and spoken)

Good knowledge of Programme Cycle Management and Development.

Very good communication and analytical skills.

Team-worker

Must be willing and physically able to travel.

Knowledge of information systems an advantage

Skills in graphic designing and publication management an advantage

POLICY RESEARCH and ADVOCACY OFFICER (PRAO)

Job Description:

1. Lead role in policy research and advocacy activities of the advocacy project

2. Assist to develop, coordinate, and implement advocacy strategies

3. Conduct policy researches on identified advocacy issues, including development of research design and gathering of accurate and up-to date information

4. Coordinate with multi-stakeholders (i.e. government, non-government, businesses, and local communities) with regards to policy formulation, information exchange and other learning sessions

5. Support role in information-education-communication (IEC) production and dissemination activities

6. Support role in legislative lobbying function (Congress, Senate and Executive Agencies)

7. Support role in media and public-relations activities and interventions of the advocacy project

8. Act as Resource Person in major local, national and international events related to the advocacy project

9. Coordinate with local and national partners on policy-research related concerns

Qualifications:

1. Must be a graduate of any social science, research or development course

2. Minimum of 2 years relevant experience related to the job requirements, with at least 1 year in supervisory role

3. Familiarity with NGOs and development work an advantage

4. Familiarity with environmental issues, natural resources management and rights-based approach to development, an advantage

5. Familiarity with legislative work and engaging other national government agencies, an advantage

6. Must be smart, articulate, fast-learner, hardworking, and good in public relations

7. Very good English language proficiency (written and spoken)

8. Very good communication and analytical skills.

9. Team-worker

10. Must be willing and physically able to travel.

11. Skills in graphic designing and publication management an advantage

Please send your resumes and application letters to both the following emails: nc@alyansatigilmina.net and policy@alyansatigilmina.net.

Please indicate in the subject header the position that you are applying for. DEADLINE of APPICATION is Oct. 6, 2017

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[From the web] Alyansa Tigil Mina’s Response to Chamber of Mines of the Philippines Open Letter cum Paid Ad published in the PDI on September 26, 2016 – ATM

Alyansa Tigil Mina’s Response to Chamber of Mines of the Philippines Open Letter cum Paid Ad published in the PDI on September 26, 2016

atm-logoFirst of all, we believe that the paid advertisement by COMP was a rude move to discredit the mining audit reports completed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Second, we would like to clarify the misconception regarding our alliance.  AlyansaTigil Mina (ATM), formed in 2005, is a coalition of mining-affected communities and their support groups challenging the promotion of destructive large-scale mining in the Philippines. We work to protect communities and natural resources but we are not anti-mining per se.  Our aim is to shift the export-oriented and profit-driven mining policy to sustainable minerals management towards national industrialization.

However, we support the DENR leadership in its efforts to implement current mining safeguards and to address the many environmental issues in the country and in reforming the organization to do away with corrupt officials.

Third, civil society organization (CSO) representation in the audit is in the DENR’s Memorandum and should be allowed for by the government as part of our democratic processes. ATM believes that representation of the community and CSOs in the mining audit is a necessary ingredient for the legitimacy and credibility of the audit process.  Mining, as a public activity, should not be exclusively discussed by “experts only” but by all affected parties.

The CoMP conclusion that CSO representatives in the audit teams “can claim no relevant expertise” and “have a clear conflict of interest and could not have contributed to a fair and impartial mine audit” reflect the elitist and snobbish character of CoMP and its members. One is left wondering why the CoMPisso afraid to ensure that a participatory manner of the audit is done, if they are completely confident that they are implementing responsible mining.

We reject the COMP’s call to make the audit activities exclusive to the government and experts. This is contrary to our call for transparency and accountability—which are essential principles of democracy.

Fourth, suspensions prior to the mining audit were a result of investigations by the DENR. If the COMP or mining companies have problems with the suspension, we believe that approaching the right offices to address their concerns should be their move as opposed to a paid ad ranting.

Fifth, we want to point out factual errors in the CoMP statement.  While we are indeed supported by Christian Aid, we are not being funded by Mining Watch-Canada and Oxfam Australia although we share the same rights-based goals and methodologies.  We vehemently reject the claim of CoMP that ATM’s activities are at the behest of our funders and that our participation in the mine audits are “meant to raise more funds from their donors”.  This observation reveal the narrow understanding of CoMP of how social development organizations work.  ATM independently sets its mandates and plans, and then our funders provide support to us.   Not the other way around.  While we certainly need additional resources to sustain our engagement with DENR, we have not asked our donors for additional funding to specifically engage the mining audit.

Lastly, we reiterate our position that in the present context of the country, responsible mining is a myth! Mining that destroys the environment and community lives without the peoples’ consent can never be responsible. If most mining projects and activities at present are irresponsible, AlyansaTigil Mina is in a position to call for a moratorium on all mining operations in the country, until the government, industry players and stakeholders agree on a credible rational mining framework and policy is put in place.

This has been ATM’s advocacy since it was convened and at present is not far from the position of the government. President Duterte himself said that mining and logging are sunset industries that he will gradually end, and that he can forego the industry’s Php40-B contribution if it destroys the environment and do not follow strict government standards.
—–
Alyansa Tigil Mina is an alliance of mining-affected communities and their support groups of NGOs/POs and other civil society organizations who oppose the aggressive promotion of large-scale mining in the Philippines. The alliance is currently pushing for a moratorium on mining, revocation of EO 270-A, repeal of the Mining Act of 1995, and passage of the Alternative Minerals Management Bill.

For more information:
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator 09175498218 – nc@alyansatigilmina.net
Karl Isaac Santos, ATM Media and Communications Officer 09173011934 – media.comms@alyansatigilmina.net

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally
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original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the
tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc

[Statement] ATM Statement on the SONA of Pres. Rodrigo R. Duterte

ATM Statement on the SONA of Pres. Rodrigo R. Duterte
July 26, 2016

atm-logoQuezon City – ATM welcomes the clear pronouncements of Pres. Duterte related to environment concerns.  Specifically, Pres. Duterte gave instructions that permits and contracts of mining, logging and other environment-sensitive projects will be reviewed.  He further stated that should it be needed, these permits and contracts will be amended, suspended or canceled.

This is consistent with the campaign statements that Pres. Duterte publicly espoused during the campaign.  The appointment of Sec. Gina Lopez at the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is a continuing confirmation that the President is serious in addressing the many issues and concerns plaguing the mining industry.

Our alliance also welcomes the pronouncement of newly-elected House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez that Congress will consider the requirement of a legislative franchise for mining operations.  This proposal will require the review and amendment of the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 (RA 7942), and again, this is consistent with the demands of ATM that the Mining Act be opened for legislative review and the 17th Congress should now consider the proposed mining bills – including the Philippine Mineral Resources Act (HB 54 and HB 113 ), the EITI law and the new fiscal regime (tax) for mining. While we still need to study further the details of the legislative franchise requirement, we believe that this added layer of regulation will benefit all stakeholders, especially the mining-affected communities and the local government units.

We are grateful that President Duterte affirmed his correct decision in appointing Gina Lopez as DENR Secretary.  ATM fully supports the initiatives of Sec. Gina Lopez, in her effort to introduce substantial reforms at the DENR.  Mining-affected communities and support groups are ready to engage in the Mining Audit.  We will contribute in submitting evidences and documentations of the violations of mining companies and their abuse of human rights in mining communities, particularly of indigenous peoples.  We will participate in the schedule Environmental Summits at the various island-regions and specific provinces. This is crucial in order for the DENR to acquire the necessary feedback and peoples’ agenda on preserving and managing our forests and natural resources.

There are several concrete actions that Pres. Duterte and Sec. Lopez can immediately put in effect to fast-track the implementation of changes at the DENR.  Specifically, we recommend:

a)       The establishment of a Technical Working Group to study the policy issues and legislative measures that will operationalize the passage of a new mining law, including the requirement of a legislative franchise for mining operations.

b)       Issuance of a DENR administrative order clarifying the timeline, parameters and decision-making process of the on-going Mining Audit

c)       Review of all pending cases, complaints and petitions at the regional and national Mine Adjudication Boards. This is exceptionally important so that the suspension orders or cancellations of mining permits and contracts stand on strong legal basis

Alyansa Tigil Mina is hopeful and optimistic that substantial changes will happen at the mining industry and in DENR in general with the policy directions set by Pres. Duterte. #

For details, please contact:
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator, nc@alyansatigilmina.net, (0917) 549.82.18

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[Statement] ATM Statement on recent DENR positions on mining

ATM Statement on recent DENR positions on mining
July 13, 2016

22wesupportthemovestoimmediately0aconductanaudit0aofallminingproject2c0aamoratoriumonminingapplicati-defaultATM 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,
Jaybee Garganera
ATM National Coordinator
(0917) 549.82.18
nc@alyansatigilmina.net
twitter: @jaybeegarganera

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[Statement] A betrayal to Mindoro -ATM

A BETRAYAL TO MINDORO

Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), a coalition of more than a hundred environmental advocates and organizations along with the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines-National Secretariat for Social Action (CBCP-NASSA) and Alyansa Laban sa Mina (ALAMIN), a Mindoro-based people’s organization against mining, express their frustration and utmost disappointment with the reinstatement of Mindoro Nickel Project of Intex Resources’ Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC).

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In November 2009, hopes rose for the people of Mindoro when the DENR temporarily revoked Intex’s ECC due to anomalies on how the company acquired the certificate in question. The people of Mindoro stood their ground and resisted the entry of the mining company for more than a decade. However, the Aquino administration opted to pursue corporate capitalist interest over the threat to peoples’ lives and the environment when it reinstated the revoked ECC.

According to ALAMIN, “the people of Mindoro are now in rage because of this very unfortunate event. Intex’s ECC reinstatement is a symbol of the Office of the President and the Depertment of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) undeniable betrayal of the Mindoreños welfare and trust.”

Jaybee Garganera, National Coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina called on the Office of the President and DENR “to revoke the reinstatement of Intex’s ECC as the action taken by the respective offices has no valid grounding and contrary to the position of the local government and the affected communities. He further stated that Malacañang and DENR should be ashamed of themselves for putting corporate business interest above the best interest of Mindoreños and the environment.

“Mindoreños are one in opposing mining in the province, as this will destroy our fragile ecosystem. The people of Mindoro does not deserve this kind of betrayal from the government, the very same that should be upholding and protecting our rights and our environment.” Said Fr. Edu Gariguez, Executive Director of CBCP-NASSA

“We will not let this betrayal extinguish our fire of passion to protect our lands and mountains against corporate greed, pursued in collusion with our own government. Intex had long been trying to start their mining operation, with all their deceptive strategies and alleged bribery. They will never win. The Mindorenos will continue to heroically stand their ground to save and protect the province from outright destruction.” Gariguez concluded.

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Alyansa Tigil Mina is an alliance of mining-affected communities and their support groups of NGOs/POs and other civil society organizations who oppose the aggressive promotion of large-scale mining in the Philippines. The alliance is currently pushing for a moratorium on mining, revocation of EO 270-A, repeal of the Mining Act of 1995, and passage of the AMMB.

For more information:

Fr. Edu Gariguez, CBCP-NASSA Executive Director (0922) 834.8248  edugariguez@gmail.com
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator (0927) 761.76.02 nc@alyansatigilmina.net
Check Zabala, ATM Media and Communications Officer (0927) 623.50.66 media.comms@alyansatigilmina.net

http://alyansatigilmina.net/2015/04/15/atm-statement-on-reinstatement-of-intex-ecc-a-betrayal-to-mindoro/

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Press Release] Envi groups renew call to scrap Mining Act -ATM

Envi groups renew call to scrap Mining Act

Photo by ATM

Photo by ATM

Environmental activists in chains dragged by a “golden grim ripper” marched towards the House of Representatives to call on the Congress to Scrap RA 7942, also known as the Mining Act of 1995 as the law marks its 20th year.

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The action spearheaded by the group Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) which is celebrating their bi-annual movement ‘Mining Hell-Week’ gained the support of 100 strong activists,

Civil Society Organizations (CSO) and Non-government organizations (NGO) that shared the call to repeal the mining law and enact the Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB).

“This year marks 2 decades of impunity and injustice that the Mining Act of 1995 has brought to our country and countrymen.” said Jaybee Garganera, National Coordinator of ATM “We stand here today to call on our legislators to assess this flawed law and to bring justice where justice is due.”

In a statement released by ATM, the group noted that the Mining Act of ’95 brought more negative impacts as opposed to its promised supposed benefits.

ATM also stated that the academe and economists can attest that the industry has very little impact to our economy with 0.7-1% and 0.7% contribution to GDP and employment, respectively.

“We have been told time and again that the Mining Act will bring sustainable development to our country, however data clearly show that this is not the case.

“We have had enough with the false pretense and we would like to push the government to open their eyes on the reality that the Mining Act has done more harm than good.

“Right now we are not sure how the government define ‘sustainable development’, but we hope that destroying forests and watersheds, marginalizing indigenous and rural communities, putting peoples’ health at risk and robbing off people’s means of livelihood, aren’t it.” said Garganera.

Environment and Human Rights campaign center Tao Muna! Hindi Mina! (TMHM),also expressed their solidarity for the protest and backed the call noting that the “Mining Act of 1995 has not only spurred environmental destruction, but human rights violations as well.”

“Because of Mining Act of 1995’s corporate-centered and lenient provisions, we have been witnessed to extra-judicial killings brought by militarization in mining sites.” said Egay Cabalitan of TMHM.

“These unresolved killings brought by the inefficiency of the mining act to protect and uphold human rights clearly scream an injustice that needs to stop now.” added Cabalitan.

Meanwhile, lawmakers also showed their support to the environmental CSO and NGO communities calling for the repeal of the Mining act of 1995.

Nueva Viscaya Representative Carlos Padilla and AKBAYAN partylist Representative Barry Gutierrez were two among the legislators that voiced out their call for the scrapping of the law and the enactment of the Alternative Minerals Management Bill.

“The two decades of environmental destruction and degradation of human rights should be enough for the Supreme Court to rule against the constitutionality of the mining act of 1995.

“It is about time that we stop favouring the large-scale mining companies that are shamelessly exploiting and corrupting the real value and worth of our natural resources. We need an alternative policy that will stop the plunder of our country’s natural richness.” said rep. Gutierrez.

Representative Padilla shared the sentiments of Gutierrez while adding that “the mining act that the world dubbed as one of the ‘greatest’ in existence has brought irreparable destruction to our mountains, bodies of water and farmlands in Nueva Viscaya.”

According to the lawmaker, the Mining Act “has displaced communities, legitimized the plunder of our mineral resources and downgraded the capacity of communities to have a sustainable livelihood and food sources”.

“The country needs a policy that prioritizes the people and the environment, a policy that upholds human dignity, biodiversity and rightfully value our country’s mineral resources.

We have a bill that can make all these reality, I urge my co-lawmakers to take a stand against this impunity and enact the Alternative Minerals Management Bill.” he added.

—-

Alyansa Tigil Mina is an alliance of mining-affected communities and their support groups of NGOs/POs and other civil society organizations who oppose the aggressive promotion of large-scale mining in the Philippines. The alliance is currently pushing for a moratorium on mining, revocation of EO 270-A, repeal of the Mining Act of 1995, and passage of the AMMB.

For more information: Check Zabala, ATM Media and Communications Officer, (0927) 623.50.66, media.comms@alyansatigilmina.net or checkzab@gmail.com

Press Release
10 March 2015

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[Press Release] CSOs meet with UN Special Rapporteur to express frustration to lack of gov’t food policy -ATM

CSOs meet with UN Special Rapporteur to express frustration to lack of gov’t food policy

Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) headed by FIAN Philippines, Focus on the Global South, LILAK, Alyansa Tigil Mina, and Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) held a conference on Feb 20, at the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM) Penthouse to meet with Dr. Hilal Elver, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food.

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The conference was the first of the many agenda in the itinerary of the newly appointed rapporteur in the Philippines, her very first official mission since her appointment last May 2014.

“Dr. Elver’s visit is a milestone for the discussion of the Right to Adequate Food issues in the country,” said Aurea Miclat–Teves, President of FIAN Philippines and one of the convenors of the National Food Coalition.

“Civil Society Organizations advocating for the establishment of a National Food Policy to eradicate hunger in the Philippines were provided with the opportunity to present the hunger and food situation in the country,” Teves added.

A paper released by Focus on the Global South stated that in the past 15 years (1999-2014), the number of Filipino families who rated themselves as hungry (based on the Social Weather Station’s self-rated hunger survey) rose from 8.3% to 18.3%.

In the last quarter of 2014, an estimated 3.8 million households were victims of hunger – a close quarter of the total population of the country, majority of whom resides in the rural areas.

“The figures showing the persistent state of hunger in the country, which previous and current governments have failed to address .” said Mary Ann Manahan, program officer from the Focus on The Global South.

“This largely stem from the government’s lack of a rights-based inspired national food strategy and program that could have helped eradicate this dire situation.” added Manahan.

Elver’s visit will focus on assessing the legal framework of the country when it comes to the discussion of food security, an investigation on the impacts of extreme weather events and socio-economic conditions vis-à-vis the food security and malnutrition issues.

An assessment on the protection program for smallholders, indigenous peoples, and urban poor with a focus on women peasants in achieving and implementation of the right to food and food security will also be discussed,

as well as issues of adequacy, availability and accessibility issues vis. realization or violation of the right to food in the country.

Through the UN Rapporteur’s visit, the CSOs aim to emphasize the links of land rights, access to and control of productive resources and the right to food,

highlight policies and impacts of external actors on the right to food and food security and to underscore the issue of poverty, inequality and the right to food of the poor and vulnerable groups, especially women, children and indigents.

CSOs also raised the issues of harassments, intimidation, and extra judicial killings of land rights defenders, farmers, and indigenous peoples perpetrated by landlords, real estate, commercial, and mining companies.

According to the group, the raised issues are all related to the central question of control and access to land and security of tenure by the country’s food producers, which is key to rural poverty alleviation and a hungry-free Philippines.

Just last year, Philippines has been awarded by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for outstanding progress in fighting hunger ahead of the 2015 deadline.

This however, is not enough according to the CSOs as despite the unprecedented growth rates in the past few years, poverty, hunger and inequality have remained high.

“Targets are mere figures,” Teves said. “The 3.8 million Filipino families whose hunger affect their everyday lives is the real measurement of the government’s poor adherence to this basic right to adequate food,” she said.

Meanwhile, Elver is expected to visit Tacloban on February 21 to meet with CSOs and Yolanda survivors in the area. The UN special rapporteur on the right to food is also scheduled to visit areas in Luzon, the trips’ dates are yet to be announced.

###

Additional Information:

The CSO Coordinating Committee for the entry conference of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right To Food comprised of 25 national organizations from NGOs, farmers, women, labor, fisherfolks, indigenous peoples, social movements ,the religious, human rights community and academe.

For more information:

Check Zabala, ATM Media and Communications Officer, (0927) 623.50.66 <checkzab@gmail.com>

Press Release
20 February 2015

[Statement] CBCP-NASSA and ATM Joint Statement on the Mining Issue During the Visit of Pope Francis Manila and Tacloban in the Philippines: 15-19 January 2015

CBCP-NASSA and ATM
Joint Statement on the Mining Issue During the Visit of Pope Francis
Manila and Tacloban in the Philippines: 15-19 January 2015

“Do not defile the land where you live and where I dwell (Num. 35:34).”

In two instances, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has published statements on the mining issue in the Philippines. In 1995, the CBCP asked for the repeal of the Philippine Mining Act (RA 7942) citing the “devastating effects and the adverse social impacts of mining that will destroy both environment and people and will lead to national unrest”. The Bishops expressed their support for the many local petitions against mining operations in the Philippines. Then in 2006, CBCP re-affirmed their stand for the repeal of the Mining Act of 1995, believing that “the Mining Act destroys life”. The Bishops stated that “allowing the interests of big mining corporations to prevail over people’s right to these sources amounts to violating their right to life. Furthermore, mining threatens people’s health and environmental safety through the wanton dumping of waste and tailings in rivers and seas.”

cbcp nassa atm

Last Sept. 9, 2013, Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone read the message of Pope Francis to the mining industry during the Day of Reflection between the Mining Industry and the Vatican. The Holy Father reminded everyone that “ the great challenge of business leaders is to create a harmony of interests, involving investors, managers, workers, their families, the future of their children, the preservation of the environment on both a regional and international scale, and a contribution to world peace.”

CBCP-NASSA and ATM believes that any meaningful dialogue or engagement with the mining industry must be strongly built on the Catholic Social Teachings and informed by the principles of:

a) Integrity of Creation – The interrelatedness and interconnectedness of nature and man within nature, must be recognized, and that large-scale destruction of forests by mining operations must be contained to preserve ecological sustainability.
b) Responsible Stewardship – Human extractive activity must not disrupt sustenance of current needs nor the needs of future generations. Human activity must promote harmony and development that correspond with God’s plan, paying close attention to consequences of these actions
c) Human Dignity – mining projects must not exploit the already marginalized people, including the mine workers who are not justly compensated, or the farmers who lose their irrigation, or the fishers who see their waters contaminated or the indigenous peoples who not only lose their lands, but their livelihoods and culture as well, and women and children lose their access to health and well-being
d) Preferential Option for the Poor – communities affected by mining loss their access to land and water, leaders are bribed and corruption breeds bad governance, and the benefits of mineral extractions are cornered by the elites.

To this end, we implore the Holy Father to support and stand with the communities, local organizations and popular movements who are responding to the challenges of the mining industry. We urge Pope Francis to:

1. Support the call of Philippine Bishops and the mining-affected communities to repeal the Philippine Mining Act (RA 7942) and the clamor for a new mining law that recognizes the environment and ecology, respects human rights and ensures that negative impacts of mining are completely addressed and avoided;
2. Ensure that the voices of the marginalized and the poor are heard and given space in any dialogue or interaction between the Church and the mining industry, from the local up to the global levels;
3. Encourage the Catholic leadership as well as other religious leaders, to practice their stewardship role in facilitating harmony, peace and social justice to address the issues brought by mining and other extractive industries. The way forward must include a true discernment incorporating the attempt to correct historical injustices, promoting greater transparency and seeking and working for alternatives to the market-driven and consumerist-materialist economic system.

We are confident that the Holy Father will be the inspiration of Filipinos who struggle to convert and renew themselves, and become true stewards of God’s creation. We continuously invoke the grace of the Holy Spirit to bless us with spiritual fervor, and we are ever grateful to Mary, Mother of Jesus and our Mother, for her intercession.

Signed.
Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines
National Secretariat for Social Action (CBCP-NASSA)

and

Alyansa Tigil Mina
(Alliance Against Mining)

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[Press Release] Mining industry scorecard may be deceptive—Alyansa Tigil Mina

Mining industry scorecard may be deceptive—Alyansa Tigil Mina

“We are happy that some mining companies are willing to participate in an Environmental Performance Tracking Program, but we are skeptical of the future outputs and the scorecards,” said Jaybee Garganera, national coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina.

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Mining firms Philex, Atlas, Benguet and Nickel Asia partnered with Philippine Business for Environmental Stewardship (PBEST) to come up with an environmental scorecard for the industry.

Under the Environmental Performance Tracking Program (EPTP) the companies will be assessed by an independent third party in terms of its compliance to environmental provisions of the Mining Act.

The Mining Act (RA7942) which ATM finds defective and needs to be repealed cannot be the only basis of monitoring mining company’s environmental compliance.

Garganera added: “What we need is to hold a review of all mining contracts and assess mining on-ground to see how much destruction and damage has been done, and what the mining companies and their subcontractors are doing to mitigate them.

“The process of review and investigations should also be open to civil society organizations.”

Philex, Chamber of Mines’ poster of “responsible mining” now holds the ‘biggest mining disaster’ label after the August 2012 mine spill in Benguet, where 20-million metric tons of sediments were released when their drainage tunnel was breached.

The company claimed it was because of force majeure, while some studies show that the Philex tailings pond (TP-3) collapsed because of instability. The TP-3 pond that operated in 1992 was supposed to be decommissioned early 2010, but was used until the accident.

Fr. Edu Gariguez, Executive Director of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines – National Secretariat for Social Action Justice and Peace (CBCP-NASSA) and one of ATM’s Council of Leaders also expressed some concerns regarding the program.

“Though we give credit to PBEST and the mining companies who voluntarily subjected themselves to the EPTP initiative, we cannot dismiss the fact that our main question remains afloat: ‘How responsible is responsible mining?’

“What worries us is the lack of transparency of the result of the program. The communities should have an equal participation in it and should have access to these results, mechanics and guidelines, because ultimately, it is them who are going to be affected by the mining operations.”

On the issue of bad publicity of mining companies, Gariguez commented that “contrary to popular belief, CSOs and communities fighting against mining do not aim to destroy the reputation of mining companies operating in the country, but simply expose their wrong doings, if there are any.”

ATM also called on the government to share its final integrated map system, as required by EO79, s.2012. The map should be able to pinpoint no-go mining areas based on geo- and multi-hazards, protected areas and so on, and be the basis of cancelling mining permits.

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Alyansa Tigil Mina is an alliance of mining-affected communities and their support groups of NGOs/POs and other civil society organizations who oppose the aggressive promotion of large-scale mining in the Philippines. The alliance is currently pushing for a moratorium on mining, revocation of EO 270-A, repeal of the Mining Act of 1995, and passage of the AMMB.
For more information:
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator (0927) 761.76.02 nc@alyansatigilmina.net
Check Zabala, ATM Media and Communications Officer (0927) 623.50.66 media.comms@alyansatigilmina.net

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Press Release] Envi groups launch week-long solidarity action against COMP international mining conference 2014 -ATM

Envi groups launch week-long solidarity action against COMP international mining conference 2014

Photo by ATM

Photo by ATM

Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) and various Civil Society Organizations held a press conference on September 12, Friday to formally announce to the public the start of the groups’ nationwide campaign against irresponsible and destructive mining in the country.

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The press conference with the theme ‘25 taon pa ng pagmimina, mas malalang disgrasya’ is a counter-attack of the concerned organizations to the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines’ (COMP) theme for this year’s international mining conference which is ‘Mining: the next 25 years.’

According to ATM National Coordinator Jaybee Garganera, the week-long solidarity action that will be participated by environmental and political groups from all over the Philippines is a “renewal of call against environmental destruction and abuse and violation of human rights brought by mining.”

During the conference, Garganera lambasted the current mining policies of the country by saying that the EO79 and the mining fiscal reform bill “ do not prioritize the people but the opportunistic intentions of transnational corporations”, which according to him is “not worth it, given the industry’s irreparable damage to the environment.”

Fr. Oli Castor of Philippine Meserior Partnership Inc. (PMPI), one of the speakers in the conference, complemented the arguments presented by Garganera as he discussed the economic, cultural and social effects of mining in the country.

“Though it has been claimed by the government that the mining industry has brought substantial growth in our economy, the numbers seem not to agree.” said Fr. Castor.

Fr. Castor was referring to the data produced by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) stating that mining industry has only contributed one (1) to two (2) percent in the country’s growth development product (GDP).

“Apart from the almost unfelt contribution of mining in our economy, let us not forget the farmers and fishermen who lost their livelihoods, the communities and indigenous peoples who have been displaced and the disasters the extractive industry has brought Padcal, Palawan and Marinduque among others.” pointed Fr. Castor.

Aside from criticizing the alleged inefficiency of the Mining Act of 1995 and its recent version EO 79, the groups also slated the mining industry’s contribution in elevating the country’s risk and vulnerability brought by climate change.

“The worsening climate crisis is unequivocal and the destructive nature of the mining industry is not helping our country’s vulnerable situation.” said Gerry Arances, National Coordinator of Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ).

Furthermore, Arances asserted that “Now more than ever, we should call for a drastic policy change to stop the disregard of the true costs and impacts of mining to communities and the environment.”

Aiming For Long Term Solutions

Despite the criticisms that were expounded during the press conference, the groups cleared out that it is a “long-term solution to a long withstanding problem” that they demand from the government and nothing more.

Dr. Cielo Magno of Bantay Kita, the non-government organization representing the country in the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI), claimed that “transparency is the first step” for the long-term solution.

“EITI aims to increase the accessibility of information regarding mining operation in the country. Having access to this information will allow us to further assess the impact of mining to our country. Our continued vigilance coupled with access to pertinent information will ensure that no form of economic and social injustice could be committed.” said Magno.

“Through transparency on how we manage our natural resources, we increase the accountability of mining companies to the communities and the government” she added.

However, the groups reiterated that transparency in the extractive industry’s revenue is just the start and the passage of the Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB) is the topmost priority.

“What we need are long-term and efficient form of actions to stop the uninhibited plunder of our country’s natural resources. No less than a radical shift in our minerals management law will do this,” said Akbayan Rep. Barry Gutierrez, who is one of the champions and principal author of the AMMB.

Gutierrez then urged Congress to swiftly and immediately pass the AMMB, saying it is the “best alternative” to the existing mining policy.

“EO 79, in particular, has inefficiencies that do not effectively respond to the prevalent negative impacts and externalities spawned by the mining industry,” he said.
“It’s high time for Congress to pass an alternative minerals law that puts premium in the ecological value of our country’s mineral resources, and shift the land use priority towards environmental protection, food security and sustainable development,” added the lawmaker.

“Through AMMB, we aim to ensure that the exploration, development and utilization of the mineral resources are truly responsive to the aspirations and welfare of our people now and in the future,” Gutierrez concluded.

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Alyansa Tigil Mina is an alliance of mining-affected communities and their support groups of NGOs/POs and other civil society organizations who oppose the aggressive promotion of large-scale mining in the Philippines. The alliance is currently pushing for a moratorium on mining, revocation of EO 270-A, repeal of the Mining Act of 1995, and passage of the AMMB.

For more information:
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator (0927) 761.76.02 nc@alyansatigilmina.net
Check Zabala, ATM Media and Communications Officer (0927) 623.50.66 media.comms@alyansatigilmina.net

Press Release
September 12, 2014

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[Press Release] MacArthur, Leyte residents say ‘YES to agriculture, NO TO BLACK SAND MINING!’ -ATM

MacArthur, Leyte on the road to development six months after Yolanda
Residents say ‘YES to agriculture, NO TO BLACK SAND MINING!’

MacArthur, Leyte—For the first time in 6 months after super Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan), residents of baranggay Liwayway enjoyed their organically grown vegetables—an output from their rehabilitation project.

atm-logo

This is a promising start for one of the most affected municipalities in Eastern Visayas, thanks to the consolidated efforts of various local, national and international non-government organizations (NGOs) including Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), Christian Aid, Visayas State University (VSU), Irish Aid, PAKISAMA and FORGE.

“Nagsimula kaming umani noong Abril. Pero February hanggang March sinimulan na naming magtanim. Marami na kaming gulay na napalaki mayroong mais, ampalaya, patola, sitaw, kalabasa pepino at madami pang iba, (We started harvesting last April, but we started planting on February until March. We were able to grow different kinds of crops, there’s corn, bitter gourd, sponge gourd, string beans, squash, cucumber and many more.)” said Brenie Morcilla, Secretary General of Una sa Lahat ang Diyos – Bitok Lake Farmers and Fisherfolks Association UNLAD-BLFFA and a resident of MacArthur Leyte.

It was January this year when different organizations including ATM and PAKISAMA mapped out a sustainable food source and livelihood plan for various baranggays in MacArthur. Development of farm lay out, composting facilities and coconut nurseries and other crops nurseries were done as part of the long-term rehabilitation plan for the area.

The project was initially executed in the lands owned by UNLAD-BLFFA member—a member organization of ATM that has been very active in actions and advocacies against mining activities in the area. Unfortunately, MacArthur is mostly agricultural lands threatened by black sand or magnetite mining.

“Mayroong mahigit isang daang kasapi ang UNLAD-BLFFA na nakikinabang sa proyektong ito, pero binabahagi namin ito kahit sa mga hindi kasapi ng aming organisasyon. Mula sa mga pananim namin, binibigyan namin sila ng mga buto para maitanim nila at makapag simula din silang mag-backyard. Sa ganitong pamamraan, makaka ani din sila ng sarili nilang organic na mga pananim na pwede nilang pagkuhaan ng pagkain o maliit na kabuhayan. (There are more than one hundred members of UNLAD-BLFFA who benefit from this project but we also share it to non-members. We give them seedlings from our crops for them to grow in their own backyard. This way, they can also produce their organically grown crops that they could use as a source of food or small livelihood.” Morcilla added.

MacArthur is one of the 4 municipalities in Leyte that benefit from ATM and its other partner organizations’ early recovery efforts. Mayorga, Tolosa and Dulag are the three others.

According to ATM National Coordinator Jaybee Garganera, the recovery and rehabilitation efforts in the four municipalities in Leyte will continue as long the communities still need support. He also stressed out how a community’s initiative plays a vital role in the continuous and sustained development and progress of the area.

“MacArthur along with Mayorga, Tolosa and Dulag are really impressive communities. Despite the devastation that Yolanda swept them with, they remained resilient.” Garganera said.

Garganera added however, that Leyte still has a long way to go before it achieves an independent state of development. He also admitted that though different organizations are giving their all out support to the Yolanda-affected areas, a faster and more efficient response from the government is still needed by the struggling communities.

“It has been six months and our government is still on the ‘aide allocation’ stage. Where are these allocations? Why is it that there are communities which still live in the dark because of lack of electric supply. Why are there people who are still homeless? Why are there fishermen and farmers who still remain to have no means of livelihood? We understand that organizing the rehabilitation effort is not an easy task, but the people— the survivors of Yolanda cannot wait for the government to be ready. They have been doing that for six months now.” Said Garganera.

Garganera also said that in order to produce a genuine and long-term development, the government should look at the bigger picture which is the conservation and protection of the environment— A principle Morcilla strongly shares.

In a message to President Aquino, Morcilla asked ‘Pnoy’ to not make things harder for them by aggravating their situation through approval and implementation of projects and operations that clearly degrades the environment. Morcilla is referring to the threat that black sand mining imposes to their community.

“Dito kami kumukuha ng kabuhayan, dito kami nabubuhay. Ito ang dapat prumotekta sa amin sa mga kalamidad. IPATIGIL NIYO NA ANG PAGMIMINA DITO SA LEYTE. Sa lahat ng dinanas namin noong Yolanda dahil sa epekto ng paglalapastangan sa kalikasan, Sana Ibalato niyo na to sa amin. (Our environment is where we get our livelihood from, it is where we live. It is what’s supposed to protect us from calamities. STOP THE MINING ACTIVITIES IN LEYTE. With all the consequences environmental degradation has caused us during and after Yolanda, we hope you can give this one to us).” Said Morcilla.

ATM and UNLAD-BLFFA believes that the mining operations in Leyte have caused serious damages in the farmlands and fisheries of the area. These damages are believed to have resulted to lower productivity of agricultural and marine products, prevalent health concerns and food insecurity.

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:
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator, (0917) 549.82.18 <nc@alyansatigilmina.net>
Check Zabala, ATM Media and Communications Officer, (0927) 623.50.66 checkzab@gmail.com

ATM Press Release
May 8, 2014

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[Press Release] Alyansa Tigil Mina urges the government on Easter to take up the right path again, to stop large scale mining

Group urges the government on Easter to take up the right path again, to stop large scale mining

Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) said Sunday that this occasion will hopefully open a new chapter of peace, renewal and integrity of creation for the government to take up the right path and said the government needed to protect the environment.

File Photo by ATM

File Photo by ATM

“It is a fact that mining disasters are no end in sight with the current policy in mining industry through the Mining Act of 1995
http://taomunahindimina.wordpress.com/2013/06/15/what-is-wrong-with-the-mining-act-of-1995/ .
Back in 1998, the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) issued a letter on the environment, What Is Happening to Our Beautiful Land? In this letter, the CBCP lamented the onslaught being perpetrated against the environment nationwide by the large-scale mining,” said Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator.

Garganera added that this “Easter Sunday is a good occasion to recollect and represents renewed aspirations and hopeful beginning much more to the mining affected communities who are ignored and their rights are violated with impunity.”

The testimonies of mining of affected communities of Marinduque and Compostela Valley paint a picture of the gravity of environmental degradation and human rights violations brought by the large scale mining in these areas,” Garganera stressed.

These conditions impair the communities rights to adequate housing, safe water and to an environment that does not harm their well-being. The past nineteen years since the Mining Act of 1995 enacted, it is very disheartening to witness the worsening rural poverty and continuing disaffection of affected communities on mining.”

ATM and CBCP calls for a moratorium on the issuance of new mining permits and the passage of the Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB).

On April 22, various environmental groups, including ATM will participate in the celebration of Earth Day by holding public action in different parts of the country.-end-

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Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) 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:

Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator, 0917-5498218 or nc@alyansatigilmina.net
Check Zabala, ATM Media and Communications Officer, 0927-6235066 or checkzab@gmail.com
Press release
April 20, 2014

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[Press Release] More mining companies should be shut down—ATM

More mining companies should be shut down—ATM

The Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) called on the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) to close down many mining companies in the country found in violation of environmental laws and those who committed human rights abuses.

ATM Mining Hell Wk 2014

This is in light of the recently issued environment protection cases against two Chinese mining companies Liaoning Fenghua Group Philippines Mining Company Inc. and Bohai Top International Mining Corp. for operating without the necessary mineral processing permits in Camarines Norte province.

“We have to stem the tide of mining disasters such as the Marcopper toxic mine tragedy in Marinduque in 1996 and Philex’s Padcal mine spill in 2012. The government should immediately shut down those mining companies who found culpable of violations of environmental laws,” JaybeeGarganera, ATM National Coordinator.

EO79 states that a performance review of all existing mining operations has to be done. The performance review can be the basis for the indictment of violating mining companies. This has been the basis of the environmental protection cases filed against the two Chinese mining companies and ATM’s call to the Department to shut down the operations a few days before the world celebrates Earth Day.

Garganera added that “mining in the country has taken severe tolls on access to water, health, and the development of agricultural activity and brought about drastic change in the environment. With climate change already upon us, mining disasters are most likely to happen with a flawed mining law and inadequate regulatory environment. Geo-hazard areas should be declared ‘no-go zones’ to mining. This should be immediately acted upon by MGB.”

On April 22, various environmental groups, including ATM will participate in the celebration of Earth Day by holding public actions in different parts of the country.

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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:

Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator, (0917) 549.82.18 <nc@alyansatigilmina.net>
Check Zabala, ATM Media and Communications Officer, (0927) 623.50.66 <checkzab@gmail.com>

Press release
April 12, 2014

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Press Release] PNoy must certify as urgent the passage of alternative mining law -ATM

PNoy must certify as urgent the passage of alternative mining law

Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) on Thursday calls on the Aquino government to certify as urgent the enactment of alternative mining law by Congress.

Photo by TFDP

Photo by TFDP

Since after nearly two decades, ATM, a coalition of more than one hundred organizations, and part of the TAO MUNA, HINDI MINA campaign, said the Mining Act of 1995 (Republic Act No. 7942) has failed to deliver on its promise of economic gains and jobs to communities where large-scale mining firms are operating. The flawed Mining Act of 1995 has so far resulted in disasters that render the revenue share it has allocated for government ridiculous.

“In our report in 2005, we pointed out significant percentage of the forest loss in the Philippines was attributed to mining, in which detrimental impacts to the environment include the deterioration of water catchments, soil erosion and surface run off, the loss of biodiversity and worsening of rural poverty.” Maria Belinda E. de la Paz, Chief Operating Officer, Haribon Foundation.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines National Secretariat for Social Action (CBCP-NASSA) Executive Secretary Fr. Edu Gariguez called for a moratorium on the issuance of new mining permits and the passage of the Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB) has been made more urgent by one mining disaster after another due to flawed framework of the Mining Act of 1995.

“There is a need to push for this AMMB because the Executive Order No. 79, is not the solution to our problem,” Gariguez added.

EO No. 79 has expanded the “no-go” mining zones in the country to include 78 tourism sites, and farms, marine sanctuaries and island ecosystems in response to the public clamor to protect the environment from mining.

“Again, we reiterate our call to the government to repeal the Mining Act of 1995 and to pass the AMMB, “which offers a far more sustainable approach to utilization and protection of our country’s natural resources,” Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator said.

This week–dubbed “Mining Hell Week” –as a time of reckoning of the tragedies and the irreversible damage mining activities have continuously inflicted on communities since the enactment of Mining Act of 1995. ATM led various actions including a caravan to different government agencies and the House of Representatives calling for the repeal of the Mining Act of 1995 and enactment of the AMMB.

Alyansa Tigil Mina is an alliance of mining-affected communities and their support groups of NGOs/POs and other civil society organizations who oppose the aggressive promotion of large-scale mining in the Philippines. The alliance is currently pushing for a moratorium on mining, revocation of EO 270-A, repeal of the Mining Act of 1995, and passage of the AMMB. (30)

For more information:
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator (0927) 761.76.02 nc@alyansatigilmina.net
Farah Sevilla, ATM Policy Advocacy Officer (0915) 331.33.61 policy@alyansatigilmina.net

Press release
March 13, 2014

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

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