HomeNewsCaritas Philippines demands nationwide mining moratorium

Caritas Philippines demands nationwide mining moratorium

The social action arm of the Philippine Catholic Church called on the government to order the stoppage of all mining operations in the country following the deadly landslide in a mining community in Mindanao.

“We demand a moratorium to halt the ongoing damage and hold a national conversation. Is profit more important than people’s lives? Is the short-term gain worth sacrificing future generations?” said Fr. Antonio Labiao Jr., executive director of Caritas Philippines. 

The Catholic institution made the statement a few days after 85 individuals died in a landslide tragedy in Masara village, Maco town in Davao de Oro province. At least 32 people were injured and 38 others are still missing. 

Bishop Gerardo Alminaza, vice president of Caritas Philippines, stressed that the tragic incident in Mindanao “is not a natural disaster alone.” 

The prelate stressed that it is a human-induced “tragedy fueled by greed and irresponsible practices.” He said, “Weak governance, political dynasties, and rampant mining have created a ticking time bomb, and it just exploded.”

Caritas Philippines has provided nearly PHP 1 million in aid to affected dioceses. However, the organization emphasized the necessity for systemic change to prevent future disasters.

“Relief is crucial, but it’s like bandaging a wound without addressing the infection. We need a systemic change, and that starts with stopping the bleeding – a nationwide moratorium on mining,” said Fr. Labiao.

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“Deforestation, soil destabilization, and altered water flow – these are not just statistics, they’re the very reasons our communities are drowning,” the priest added. 

Caritas Philippines called for a comprehensive approach beyond a mere pause on mining. It said it advocates for sustainable development and environmental protection, emphasizing the urgency of adopting practices that respect the environment and prioritize the well-being of future generations.

Bishop Alminaza warned against continued resource plundering and stressed the need for accountable leadership and responsible resource management to build resilience. 

The organization urged the Filipino electorate to break the cycle of political dynasties, emphasizing the importance of electing representatives committed to serving the diverse needs of their communities for inclusive development.

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