HomeEquality & JusticePhilippine green groups call for cancellation of mining contracts

Philippine green groups call for cancellation of mining contracts

The protestors warned the government from catering to the "vested interests" of mining companies

Various pro-environment groups marched in the streets of the Philippine capital on Tuesday, March 7, to demand the cancellation of mining contracts in communities across the country.

Jaybee Garganera, national coordinator of the group Alliance To Stop Mining, said they are “bringing the barricades” to the capital to strongly urge the government to cancel the mining contracts of the companies.

Among the Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) the groups wanted cancelled are those of Altai Philippines Mining Corporation on Sibuyan Island, Romblon, and Ipilan Nickel Corporation in Brooke’s Point, Palawan.

Bearing placards and chanting slogans, the protestors warned the government from catering to the “vested interests” of mining companies at the expense of mining-affected communities.

Rodne Galicha, executive director of Living Laudato Si and a resident of Sibuyan Island, said “the government must protect the rich natural resources of Sibuyan and other mining-affected communities for they are the true wealth of the nation.”

Father Bong Magbata, director of the Ecumenical and Interfaith Affairs of the Diocese of Romblon said faith communities are “united in our call to protect our archipelagic province and small islands.”

“It is our duty to be stewards of creation, which has been continuously exploited because of greed,” said the priest.

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“We will stand in unity with the earth and the poor in a way that ecological balance is maintained and protected,” he added.

Vic Colili, councilor of Brooke’s Point town in Palawan, said that “future generations deserve no less than the preservation of our environment.”

“The destruction brought about by mining makes communities more vulnerable to climate risks. What is needed now is effective disaster risk management and not more destructive mining activities,” Colili said.

Garganera called on the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) “to review current mining contracts and assess the implementation of mining projects in different parts of the country through a mining audit.”

The DENR earlier ordered to stop the operations of a mining company on the island of Sibuyan in the province of Romblon.

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