HomeNewsPresident Marcos’ first 100 days met ‘mixed reactions’ from anti-mining group

President Marcos’ first 100 days met ‘mixed reactions’ from anti-mining group

The group vowed to continue monitoring the Marcos administration by launching “Marcos Watch” in mining-affected communities around the country

A group of anti-mining activists expressed “mixed reactions” on the first 100 days of the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on mining issues.

“We are also pleased that the Philippines has rejoined the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, which promotes open and accountable management of minerals and other extractives projects,” said the group Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) in a statement on Friday, October 7.

Marcos will mark his first 100 days in office on Saturday, October 8.

ATM said the country membership in the EITI is “a reassuring signal that the country is serious in making mining companies accountable for their obligations.”

The group also said it is “glad” about Environment Secretary Toni Yulo-Loyzaga’s engagement with mining stakeholders.

But ATM said it is “deeply dismayed” that Marcos “pressed on supporting more mining.”

“Instead of rationalizing the mining industry and the use of our natural resources, [Marcos] has easily, yet wrongly, declared the revitalization of the mining industry for the country’s economic recovery,” read the group’s statement.

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They said they are also “disappointed” with the president’s “questionable appointees to the Commission on Human Rights.”

“At the same time, we are aghast at his misplaced priorities, as he chooses to put his attention to social events despite the alarming issues of inflation, food insecurity and the impacts of Typhoon Karding,” added the group’s statement.

The anti-mining alliance said the link between health and environment “has also been neglected” with the failure to appoint a Health Secretary.

“In a post-pandemic recovery scenario, an able and full-time health Secretary will bring more positive outcomes, rather than simply rely on economic-driven policies of pandemic recovery, such as more mining projects,” read the ATM statement.

The group said it looks forward “to a more fruitful and meaningful engagement” with the Environment department.

“We … believe that directly and continually engaging affected communities will benefit DENR in pursuing its policy reform agenda and responding to various environmental and climate change issues,” said the group.

It vowed to continue monitoring the Marcos administration by launching “Marcos Watch” in mining-affected communities around the country.

“Using our 10-point agenda on mining, we will track and assess the performance of this government, and contribute in pursuing meaningful reforms in policy and practice in mining,” said the group.

“We can only hope that for the entire period of his administration, [Marcos] would get his priorities right and focus on crucial issues facing our country, particularly climate change and the destruction of our environment,” said ATM.

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