Mineral Action Plan: Arroyo's Payback for the Mining industry and TNCsPublished by MAC on 2004-05-25
DENR's Mineral Action Plan: Arroyo's Payback for the Mining industry and TNCs
Kalikasan-PNE PRESS STATEMENT
May 25, 2004
Amid, the looming Arroyo presidential proclamation, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), crafted a Mineral Action Plan (MAP) and expected to finish today's MAP consultations with nary a provision upholding the people's demands for the protection of people's rights and wise utilization of our mineral resources.
While the MAP is ostensibly in compliance with President Arroyo's Executive Order 270, defined as a National Policy Agenda on Revitalizing Mining in the Philippines, the Kalikasan-People's Network for the Environment has reasons to believe that it is Arroyo's quid pro quo for the mining elite, especially mining TNCs, who supported her presidential bid.
Through MAP, President Arroyo not only assures the mining TNCs of the continuation of the liberalization of the mining industry but also gives them more authority and control over our mineral resources.
Under the MAP, representatives of the industry - and these include transnational mining corporations - are given a more prominent role in defining where and how they can mine after smoothing out apparent institutional and legal obstacles in "revitalizing" mining in the Philippines.
For one, the definition of protected areas, reservations and other land classifications would, under the MAP, become also a function of the minerals industry!
It is the height of the government's outrageous subservience to the mining business to even include the latter in such an endeavor where they are most likely to rule with their profit-making interests. The government may just as well declare the entire country mineable, wipe off its pretensions of looking after the country's national patrimony, and dissolve the environmental agency altogether!
The MAP also undermines the position of local government units which are becoming more critical to the mining policy and projects of the national government. The DENR and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) are called to enter into memoranda of agreement with various Leagues of Provinces, Municipalities, Cities and Barangays to set guidelines for the endorsement of mining projects.
There are other equally objectionable provision in the MAP, to wit:
- a ttoken goal towards "value-adding" yet without concrete strategies to develop the mining industry and how it will serve in pushing for a national industrialization,
- the adoption of efficient technologies that ironically include the internationally banned practice of submarine disposal of mine wastes,
- lip-service iteration of the interests of small-scale miners yet without truly integrating and identifying their role in the development of the industry,
- fast tracking the issuance of mining permit by watering down the procedure of giving Free and Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) to mining companies
- motherhood statements pertaining to equitable sharing of the benefits of mining without defining clear strategies to realize this, especially in the context of MAP's thrust of opening our mineral wealth to large-scale plunder of our natural resources,
- requirements for the protection of the environment that emphasize procedural rather than a policy-based approach to address the widespread devastation of the environment brought about by large-scale mining, and
- remediation/rehabilitation of abandoned mines that leaves scot-free past errant mining companies, like Marcopper and the transnational Placer Dome, for the lame excuse of lack of government policy on abandoned mines that operated prior to the Mining Act of 1995,
- Instituting transparency and upholding the rights of the communities without giving to the mining affected people the right of refusal to mining projects that will impact heavily on their lives and environment.
The Kalikasan-PNE believes that like the discredited National Mineral Policy, the MAP is bound to be rejected by the people. MAP will fail because it is grounded on the same flawed globalization framework of the Mining Act of 1995 which is to open-up our mineral resources to foreign control. Instead of developing the mining industry and the country, MAP will lead to the intensification of the destruction of our environment and displacement of our people.
JUNK THE DENR'S MINERAL ACTION PLAN;
SCRAP THE E.O. 270 AND R.A. 7942!
Kalikasan - People's Network for the Environment