Strengthening Competitiveness, Aggression - Environmental Destruction and HRVs in the Country
On Mining
Wednesday, 16 September 2009 00:00
Strengthening competitiveness, means strengthening aggression, environmental destruction and human rights violations in our country

The Philippine Government is in deaf ears on its peoples’ cry against the ill effects caused by large scale mining operations on affected areas especially on indigenous peoples’ lives.

It remains numb despite the growing resistance among affected localities throughout the country.  Its utmost disregard is manifested through its support in the conference on mining in September 15-17, 2009 dubbed as “Mining Philippines 2009” with the theme Strengthening Competitiveness, in Sofitel Philippine Plaza, Pasay City.  

“Mining Philippines 2009” is organized by the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines in collaboration with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. It basically aims to encourage investors from mining industries to come and boost the mineral extraction activities in the Philippines. Thus opening our country to more destruction and giving away our peoples’ welfare in favor of investments.

Large scale mining has been strongly opposed by the peoples not only because of environmental destruction.  What has always been at stake here boils down to human rights.  The right to food, water, shelter and means of subsistence of the local community were most violated.  Indigenous Peoples were the most directly victimized, particularly their right to self determination.  There were also documented cases of Civil Political Right violations committed by Mining Companies and some of its allies from national and local government units.

Like the case of the indigenous peoples of the municipality of Kasibu in Nueva Viscaya.  Security of tenure and community’s livelihood were threatened since large scale mining operated in their area.  In defense of their rights, eight (8) barangays composed of IP groups namely Bungkalot, Kankanaey, Ifugao, Kalanguya, and several other more forge their unity to resist the operation of Oceana Gold Philippines.  Assertion of their rights led to series of harassments and more violations by the said company.

What has been common practice of violations around the country is the lack of serious compliance by big mining companies to conduct a genuine free prior consent or consultation with the community. It denies the right of the people to air their grievance.  It gives the people no option but to protest and act to resist and to be heard, in which eventually answered by more violations of their rights.

Large-scale mining gives no hope to the peoples’ economic and social development, but to the enrichment of the foreign companies who extracts not only our minerals but the economic, social and cultural rights of our people. Thus rendering the people out of their dignity and threatened their lives.


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