Tag Archives: mining disasters

[Statement] ATM Statement for Earth Day: Filipinos should assert their right in protecting the environment

ATM Statement for Earth Day: Filipinos should assert their right in protecting the environment

Photo by Kehvin Yu/ATM

Photo by Kehvin Yu/ATM

‘Ganansya ng iilan, disgrasya ng mamamayan’— As the world celebrates Earth Day, Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) a coalition of more than a hundred environmental and anti-mining groups continues its cry for a more sustainable future, not just for the environment but for the people of the Philippines.

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“When it comes to environmental issues, there are just so many things to deal with. There is deforestation, destruction of biodiversity and of course destructive and irresponsible mining, among others. The issue even extends to human rights violations and the abuse of rights of our Indigenous Peoples” said Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator.

“But these issues are not hopeless. International and local groups from different sectors are doing their best to resolve these problems. The question however, is how willing are we to open our minds and assert our rights for a clean and safe environment. As long as we let the dysfunctional system and the culprits behind these environmental atrocities do what they do, we can continue to fight for 50 years or more and not even make a dent to save the Earth.” Garganera added.

ATM and other environmental organizations and sectors urge the public to take part in preserving the environment. Filipinos must use their right as a power against the environmental offenders especially now that climate change is threatening to intensify ‘disgrasya ng mamamayan’.

“We do not have to look so far behind our history to recount instances when our vulnerability as a nation was intensified by mining, coal plants operations, deforestation and other acts and operations that are clear desecration of our environment. 19 years ago, the Mining Act of 1995 was enacted and it has brought an imbalanced development but inconsiderate extraction of our national resources, destruction of our environment, health risk to the people and a long list of mining disasters that have left irreversible consequences to the affected communities. Just 5 months ago, Yolanda struck us and look how deforestation and mining contributed to the devastation it brought” Garganera stressed. Truly, the social, environmental and political costs of mining far outweigh its supposed economic benefits.

According to the most recent climate change report released by the United Nations last march 30, the intensifying global warming will gravely affect  countries that rely on agriculture and fishery, and linking it to the booming population that is estimated to become 9.7 billion by 2050, worldwide hunger has been foreseen.

The Philippines, which mostly depends on agriculture and fishery as livelihood resources is bound to suffer more as climate change aggravates. The effects of mining and other activities that are considered detrimental to environmental services – such as vast deforestation and coal plant operations – do not help in averting the climate crisis that we are facing. The contradicting policies on addressing climate change and mining and other development projects are going to lead us nowhere. For this, ATM is calling upon citizens of our country to stand up against these environmental atrocities because ‘Ganansiya ng iilan’ has to stop, otherwise, hope falls short for the rest of the Filipino people.

“Environmental organizations, other concerned sectors even the government, can only do so much if we do not fight against these environmental aggressors. Moreover, let us fight the biggest aggressor, which is the apathy that we have when it comes to environmental concerns. Protecting our environment starts in our homes, the way we think, the way we act. Let us make Earth Day not a one day event, let us celebrate it every day of our lives. ” Garganera 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 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

Statement
April 22, 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

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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] Groups urge gov’t: seek justice for victims of Marcopper toxic mine tragedy, other mining disasters -ATM

Groups urge gov’t: seek justice for victims of Marcopper toxic mine tragedy, other mining disasters

Photo by Kehvin Yu/ATM

Photo by Kehvin Yu/ATM

Led by the Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), groups called on the government to step up and lead the people in demanding justice for victims of the Marcopper toxic mine tragedy and other mining disasters.

Photo by Kehvin Yu/ATM

Photo by Kehvin Yu/ATM

This morning, the groups went agency-hopping in a caravan from Bantayog ng mga Bayani to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), then to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Office (DENR), and concluded in front of the House of Representatives (HOR).

At the DENR, the group with the Marinduque Council for Environmental Concerns (MACEC) submitted a petition for the agency not to allow the acceptance of the Nevada settlement offer related to cases filed after the Marcopper toxic mine disaster in March 24, 1996. The case up to now is yet to be resolved.

The group demanded that the DENR must not sign the waiver to pave way for the Marcopper Settlement.

In its endorsement letter, ATM said that the government should not allow the settlement to push through, because if accepted, Marcopper, Placer Dome and Barrick Gold will only leave “the burden to rehabilitate and ensure the recovery of the damaged areas to the government and communities.”

MACEC added that government should not let this settlement erase the responsibility of the mining companies to rehabilitate Marinduque and compensate the people affected by the tragedy.

Photo by Kehvin Yu/ATM

Photo by Kehvin Yu/ATM

At the HOR, the groups reiterated that the Mining Act of 1995 (Republic Act No. 7942) is a flawed policy in many ways—and that its disastrous impacts has only benefited a number of foreign and local mining firms at the expense of many Filipino communities.

ATM national coordinator Jaybee Garganera said: “19 years and the Mining Law continue to fail us. It is about time that we scrap this law and enact a new bill that will ensure that mining companies, such as Marcopper can and will be held responsible and accountable for the effects of their mines.”

The group also called for the rehabilitation of many abandoned mine areas that today stand at around 800 closed down mines.

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.

Photo by Kehvin Yu/ATM

Photo by Kehvin Yu/ATM

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 11, 2014

[Press Release] More Marcopper mine tragedy, Philex’s mine disaster due to flawed mining law -ATM

More Marcopper mine tragedy, Philex’s mine disaster due to flawed mining law

From left to right, Jaybee Garganera, National Coordinator, Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), Beth Manggol, Marinduque Council for Environmental Concerns (MaCEC) and Gerry Arances, Coordinator, Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) during a press conference held this afternoon in Quezon City. Photo by ATM

From left to right, Jaybee Garganera, National Coordinator, Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), Beth Manggol, Marinduque Council for Environmental Concerns (MaCEC) and Gerry Arances, Coordinator, Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) during a press conference held this afternoon in Quezon City. Photo by ATM

After nearly two decades, 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.

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In a bid to stop the mining disasters from happening, several environment, human rights and Church groups led by Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) have set March 10-14, 2014 –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, a coalition of more than one hundred organizations, said the past mining disasters were tragedies waiting to happen due to fatal flaws of the mining law.

In a statement, the ATM said “nineteen years is more than enough time to see that the law has not been working for the national interest, so much so that a number of key questions that have cropped up need to be resolved immediately and decisively by the government to avoid the repeat of past disasters that have inflicted irreversible environmental damage, caused deaths and community impoverishment but even to those who will be born in the future.”

Brandished by government as “attempt to revitalize the mining industry,” RA 7942 only proved to be a recipe for disasters, highlighted by the Marcopper toxic mine tragedy in Marinduque in 1996, the Philex’s Padcal mine spill in August 2012, and Kingking mines landslide in Compostela Valley in 2012 and many others.

According to ATM, the Mining Act of 1995 allows for 100% ownership of minerals by foreign entities through the Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA), permits for more open areas to mining than mining-free zones—exploitation over protection and conservation, and sanctions many tax holidays and deductions that leave us with mere cents of income from our own mineral resources, among others.

Situation of Mogpog river now in Marinduque, it is one of the few tributaries that originates from the Mogpog town's main watershed area. Mogpog has long suffered from recurring floods due to siltation caused by the collapse of Marcopper Mining Corporation's Maguilaguila siltation dam in 1993. There, the colors of the water range from peach to brown to gruesome red and toxic green or violet ending up in Tablas Strait.

Situation of Mogpog river now in Marinduque, it is one of the few tributaries that originates from the Mogpog town’s main watershed area. Mogpog has long suffered from recurring floods due to siltation caused by the collapse of Marcopper Mining Corporation’s Maguilaguila siltation dam in 1993. There, the colors of the water range from peach to brown to gruesome red and toxic green or violet ending up in Tablas Strait.

“Since the 1990s, the presence of large-scale mining in the provinces of Marinduque, Benguet, Compostela Valley, and Nueva Vizcaya have led to acute changes in the environment and the community,” Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator said.

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,” Garganera said.

Moreover, he said: “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.”

On the other hand, he said that even if the government manages to get the bigger share in the mining sector’s declared profits, the revenue would be nothing compared to the hundreds of lives that have been and would be sacrificed and the dislocation of communities in mining affected areas.

“As indicated by several studies, the Mining Act of 1995 has been disastrous to communities and the environment and the promised economic benefit is a pittance compared to the dislocation of communities, especially of indigenous peoples, who face constant health risks and whose livelihoods are threatened by massive environmental destruction due to large-scale mining,” Garganera added.

Thus, the ATM calls on government to repeal the Mining Act of 1995 and to pass the Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB), “which offers a far more sustainable approach to utilization and protection of our country’s natural resources.”

Press release
March 10, 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.