Group calls lifting of mining nine-year ban ‘outrageous’April 16, 2021
Greenpeace Philippines has lamented Friday the lifting of mining nine-year ban calling it “outrageous.”
“At a time when governments need to enable a green and just recovery for the people, the lifting of the moratorium on new mining agreements is outrageous,” said Greenpeace Country Director Lea Guerrero in a statement.
President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order 130 on Thursday. The order lifted the mining ban imposed by former President Benigno Aquino III in 2012.
Under the new order, the government “may enter into new mineral agreements, subject to compliance with the Philippine Mining Act of 1995.”
The country has so far tapped less than 5 percent of its natural endowment. While the mining chamber lauded the new order, it does not sit well with the environmental campaigner.
“Mining and extractive activities in the country have led to the marginalization and oppression of communities and indigenous peoples,” said Guerrero.
It has also aggravated pollution and environmental destruction, she added.
“We have seen how these projects have not led to tangible benefits for host communities,” she stressed.
The costs of environmental destruction and impacts on people’s health and livelihood outweighs the benefits of mining, Guerrero lamented.
Experience in mining communities showed that these benefits come in terms of employment and land. In the near-term, these benefits are limited.
The environmental campaigner urged Duterte to “withdraw this directive.”
Instead, the president should “steer the economy away from reliance on resource-intensive industries.”
It urged further the government to promote investment that will address climate crisis, environmental destruction, poverty, and injustice.