[Press Release] Protesters bring disaster-risks issues to DENR, Urges environment office to drop Tampakan mining project -ATM
Manila –”Before another natural disaster ravages our country and destroy lives and properties, we are strongly reminding DENR to intensify efforts to conserve our environment”, said Jaybee Garganera, national coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) during a rally of more than 200 people in front of the DENR yesterday.
Carrying images of actual disasters in the past, civil society groups and indigenous peoples from mining-affected communities reminded DENR on the tragedies caused by mining. These included the Marcopper tragedy in 1995 in Marinduque, the Rapu-rapu spill in 2006 in Albay, and more recently, the Padcal tailings spill in Benguet.
Garganera also said that the DENR should be the first government agency one to recognize that our environment is already in a state of diminishing capacity to protect communities from natural disasters.
Marinduque Council for Environmental Concerns (MACEC) Executive Director Miguel Magalang supported the protest and reminded DENR to learn from the Marcopper Tragedy.
“Marinduque was mined for more than two decades but when they left, they gave us nothing but the legacy of the worst mining tragedy in the country. And the destructions that the island experienced 17 years ago are still being felt today and in fact would still be faced by generations to come,” Magalang said.
Magalang also expressed that a moratorium on mining in the country should have been issued since then, “but what happened? Mining was promoted by the government and we experienced more dam leakages and over-spill. What is happening now in Padcal, Benguet is a reiteration of a failed capacity of the government to ensure safety in mining projects in the country.”
Do we need more?
The groups also brought placards denouncing the Tampakan mining project and proclaimed that it is a ‘disaster waiting to happen.’
“This is our problem with the government, how come they do not understand that Tampakan is a very dangerous project,” said Khevin Yu, campaign officer of Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ).
“In the middle of heightened risk to floods and extra-ordinary monsoon rains, coupled with the series of earthquakes in Visayas and Mindanao, the government is unalarmed of a mining project lying above a fault-line and situated near a volcano, this kind of approach will further aggravate risk and exposure of communities to calamities and climate change impacts ” he added.
The protest is part of the Anti-mining solidarity week of Alyansa Tigil Mina and other environmental organizations and human rights advocates pushing for a moratorium on mining, revocation of Executive Order 270-A, repeal of the Mining Act of 1995 and passage of the Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB).
Last Monday, the group launched a rally in front of Congress calling for higher budget towards nature conservation. Another protest was staged in front of Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City, during the opening of the International Mining Conference organized by the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines.
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.
For more information:
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator – email@example.com, 09277617602
Farah Sevilla – ATM policy and advocacy officer – firstname.lastname@example.org, 0915-3313361
Edel S. Garingan – email@example.com; 0922-8918972
ATM Press Release
Sept. 19, 2012
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