Tag Archives: philippine mining act of 1995

[From the web] Position Paper on the 25th year of the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 -ATM

Photo from ATM FB

Position Paper on the 25th year of the Philippine Mining Act of 1995
Released on March 09, 2020

Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) remains steadfast in its campaign to repeal the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 and replace it with the Alternative Minerals Management Bill. An alternative that has strict safeguards that will uphold the rights of communities affected by mining, and ensure the protection and conservation of the environment.

Historical Context

On March 3, 1995, former President Fidel Ramos signed into law Republic Act No. 7942 or most commonly known as the Philippine Mining Act of 1995. The bill was enacted as an effort to revitalize the Philippine mining industry and increase foreign investment.

Attracting foreign investments was achieved through the Financial and Technical Assistance Agreements (FTAA). The FTAA was embedded within the law allowing multinational companies to own 100% of mining rights. It provided the requirements that would enable the legitimization of foreign ownership and control of our country’s minerals and natural resources. Additionally, generous tax incentives are provided through a tax and duty-free capital equipment imports, four-year income tax holiday, value-added tax exemption, and income tax deduction with accelerated depreciation.

This Philippine Mining Act of 1995 determined the agreements for mineral exploitation, worsened by Former Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s Executive Order 270-A in January 2004. All factors that led to the aggressive promotion of large-scale, environmentally destructive mining in the country. As of July 2019, a total of 707,077 hectares are mineralized lands or areas where there are mining operations.

Challenging the Law

Anti-mining groups made up of environmentalists, indigenous people’s organizations, and church groups challenged the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 for its unconstitutionality. However, the Supreme Court declared the Mining Act as constitutional in December 2004 following the shift of the Arroyo Administration. This was done so to aggressively promote large-scale mining to attract and increase foreign investments. Various local government units responded by passing a resolution banning open-pit mining to prevent large-scale mining companies from operating in their areas.

Nonetheless, anti-mining groups continue to oppose the Mining Act opting for an alternative minerals management bill. An alternative that ensures the protection of the environment and upholds the rights of the communities affected by mining. As opposed to the environmental damages and human rights violations that stemmed from the current Mining Act.

Several incidents have been documented since the enactment of the 1995 Mining Act, despite its promotion of waste-free and efficient mine development. In March 1996, Marcopper mines in Marinduque spilled out 3 million metric tons of mineral tailings into the Boac River. The spill resulted in the contamination of the river’s fresh water, a source of their food and livelihood, resulting in the displacement of 400 families in the area. In July 2012, the Nicua Mining Corporation operating in McArthur, Leyte, released mine wastes in Lake Bito, resulting in fish kill. In November 2012, the Citinickel Mines and Development Corporation in Narra, Palawan spilled waste into the nearby river and irrigation system that affected farms and a fish pond.

These incidents are just among the few that have been documented that resulted in the dislocation of thousands of families, degradation of communities’ health, loss of livelihood, and the massive environmental destruction. Besides these incidents post-mining operations, several mining companies have evicted, and in the worst cases, threatened the lives of indigenous peoples, upland farmers, and fishers in order to operate their mining companies.

Thus, anti-mining groups continue to oppose this policy that falls short in ensuring that the country’s forests, freshwater sources, and seas are protected. Most of all, they continue to oppose it because of the lack of protection and respect it provides to indigenous communities or communities living within the vicinity of mining operations.

Shrinking Democratic Spaces

ATM, together with its local partners in the sites-of-struggle affected by mining, has been at the forefront of advocating for an alternative minerals management bill. However, due to the current stand of the administration on rights and environmental defenders, it has become harder for defenders to advocate against environmentally destructive mining.

According to the Global Witness Report in 2018, the Philippines rank 1st in being the most dangerous place for environmental activists. Activists who are 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 institutionalization of the whole-of-nation approach through Executive Order No. 70, s. 2018 has only increased the risk amongst environmental activists who oppose the continued aggressive development practices. This policy enables individuals and groups from destructive mining operations to act violently against those who would oppose their harmful practices.

In this context of violence, mining companies and their allies have grown brazen in their pursuit to continue operating to increase their bottom line. There has been an increase of midnight deals in mining particularly during the 2016 election campaign period. Between March 2016 to June 2016, 44 large-scale mining-related transactions in DENR failed to undergo due process. More recently, the repealing of the late environment Secretary Gina Lopez closure order of 21 and suspension of 5 mining companies.

Despite the suspension and cancellation orders, however, the 26 mining companies continued to operate after submitting a Motion for Reconsideration. It is stated in Executive Order (EO) 79 that once a mining company appeals to inter-agency Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) and/or the Office of the President, its status shall remain ‘business as usual’.

In December 2018, DENR together with the MICC, resolved the appeals of 13 mining companies. Three out of the 12 mining companies that were previously ordered closed were resolved to remain closed; 9 companies were resolved suspended, and 1 suspension order was lifted. The removal of these companies’ cancellation order enables those who have been proven to break environmental laws to continue to operate.

Profiting from the mineral resources of the country is the focus of the government. The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the DENR, together with the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (CoMP), are actively campaigning for “responsible mining.” A concept that has not been successfully implemented in any single mining operation. ATM asserts that this concept will only increase corporate and state corruption because it highly depends on the ability of the government to enforce the policy. Additionally, compliance with the safeguards mentioned in the proposed concept is voluntary for large scale mining companies. More so, Congress continues to push for easing foreign ownership by advocating for charter change and lobbying for bills.

It is clear that the existing policies, as well as the current political context, detract the campaign to protect and conserve the environment. But most of all, it threatens the lives of community members in mining areas. The continued profit-seeking nature of mining companies, supported by some government agencies, is even more alarming, given the global climate emergency. Thus, it is essential not only for the government to act on these abuses but also for the masses to advance policies that are pro-people and pro-environment.

President Duterte should make good on his promises – on an executive order on ban open-pit mining, and endorse the passage of an alternative minerals management law. Additionally, he must support the struggle of environmental defenders and prevent their continued vilification.

In conclusion

The alliance, its members and partners, and communities who resist large-scale mining in their area will continue to be vigilant and challenge the Philippine Mining Act of 1995. ATM will carry on with empowering and supporting women, indigenous peoples, and the youth. We will persist in the fight to uphold human rights, climate justice, and social justice. Ultimately, we will continue to push for more sustainable alternatives and campaign for a more inclusive and pro-people mining law.

Read more @www.alyansatigilmina.net

For more information, please contact:
Jaybee Garganera
ATM National Coordinator
(0917) 549 8218

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

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[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.


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

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.

[Statement] Visayan people’s declaration on mining and the ecology

Visayan people’s declaration on mining and the ecology

Scrap the Philippine Mining Act of 1995,
Enact the Philippine Mineral Resources Act of 2011!

WE, the PARTICIPANTS to the 1st Visayan Conference on Mining and Ecology, representing various organizations of farmers, indigenous people communities, women, urban poor, workers, service workers, students, professonals, the church, media, and business from the many islands of Visayas, conscious of our right to a balanced and healthy ecology in the spirit of precautionary principle and inter generational responsibility are deeply concerned.

Our economy is based on agriculture, forestry, fishery–both fresh water and marine–and expanding tourism, which all require adequate and unpolluted sources of water. Because of this, we are deeply concerned that there is an onslaught of commercial mining applications and operations in the region, all driven by profit and greed.


Panay is the Philippines’ second biggest rice producer. Add to this the fact that the mangoes of Guimaras have earned international distinction due to its unique taste and texture. As such, damage to our farmlands will bear huge adverse effect not only to the people of Panay but, more importantly, to the FOOD SECURITY of the entire country!


Mining operations in the Visayas region are causing large scale destruction of our forests, which is affecting our rivers, streams, and aquifers, carrying with them pollution, silt which flow into the sea thus posing an extremely grave threat to our marine resources and to the livelihood of people belonging to our coastal communities.


Our shallow seas are vital fishing and breeding grounds, which are easily damaged by pollution from the mines. The Visayan Sea is one of the richest areas in terms of marine resources. This is why Estancia has been recognized as the Alaska of the Phillippines which is also why. Several areas in the region such as the Tanon Strait, Danajon Double Barrier Reef, Sibuyan Sea, and Guiuan protected seascape and landscape among others, are also rich in marine resources,


The Visayas region is home to some of the world’s finest tourism destinations. In fact, Boracay Island has been distinguished as the world’s second best beach, and Asia’s No.1 overall for the second straight year.


Mining companies, in collusion with government institutions and forces, wittingly or unwittingly, have committed human rights violations, dividing and exploiting and displacing indigenous people from their ancestral domains.

We claim our right to clean sources of water, clean air and sustainable livelihood. Mining is putting all these under threat.

We hereby call for:

A moratorium not only in the processing and approval of mining applications, but in all large-scale mining projects and operations until an alternative policy on exploration, development, and use of mineral resources, that is pro-Filipino, pro-people, pro-environment, and pro food has been enacted and developed;

The scrapping of the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 and the Mining Revitalization Program and the enactment of the Philippine Mineral Resources Act.

We demand that the agricultural, forestry and fishery resources of the Visayan Region be conserved for generations to come!

God has blessed the Visayan Region with rich natural resources, and we the Visayan People will not allow these resources to be ravaged by selfishness, greed and political machinations.

Mr. President, hear our plea. We are making a stand for our people. The time is now.

APPROVED BY the participants to the 1st Visayan Conference on Mining and the Ecology,
this 25th day of February 2012,
at the Rose Memorial Auditorium,
Central Philippine University, Jaro, Iloilo City