MAC: Mines and Communities

Philippine Green Groups Slam Arroyo Administration

Published by MAC on 2007-09-09

Philippine Green Groups Slam Arroyo Administration


9th September 2007

References: Clemente Bautista, Jr. Kalikasan-PNE National Coordinator (0922-844-9787) Trixie Concepcion, Defend Patrimony alliance Spokesperson (0918-629-3648)

Leaders of Philippine green groups today slammed the Arroyo administration's "blatant anti-environment stance" at the APEC Summit in Sydney Australia as manifested in the President's policy statements on the issues of climate change and mining.

"The Philippine government has unabashedly demonstrated a blatantly anti-environment position during the APEC Summit proceedings. The Arroyo administration has gone soft on the alarming issue of climate change and global warming, while rabidly promoting foreign mining and plunder of Philippine resources," Kalikasan Peoples' Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE) Spokesperson Clemente Bautista Jr. said in a statement.

"With regards to the issue of global warming, the Philippines remains silent and taciturn on the refusal of the United States and Australia to adopt the European Union's proposal to reduce global carbon and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50% by 2050," Bautista said.

"Such inaction is tantamount to tolerating the massive amounts of GHG and carbon emissions being spewed by the US and Australia. It seems that the Arroyo administration is turning a blind eye to this inconvenient truth because GMA is relying on US and Australian military aid and mining investments to counteract her plunging popularity ratings among the people," he said.

Bautista scored the Arroyo administration for "blindly towing the US' attempts to circumvent a reduction in their carbon and GHG emissions by aiming instead for "aspirational" targets bracketing developed and developing economies". "Considering that the US emits nearly one-fourth of all GHG emissions worldwide, this proposal is tantamount to passing the buck on to other poorer countries," Bautista explained.

Trixie Concepcion of the Defend Patrimony alliance also scored DENR Sec. Lito Atienza for his "endless sales pitch for foreign mining investments in the Philippines".

"By his pronouncements, Sec. Atienza is acting more like a spokesperson or liaison officer for large mining companies rather than Environment Secretary," Concepcion said.

At an earlier meeting with multinational mining and business firms in Makati City, Secretary Atienza vowed to revitalize mining by working closely with local government units (LGUs), in line with the national government's thrust to promote the industry in the country.

"It would do well to remind Mr. Atienza that many LGUs are in fact opposed to the large-scale foreign mining that he is promoting. These include local government officials from mining-devastated sites such as Marinduque and Samar, as well as "new frontiers" for mining operations, such as Palawan and Nueva Vizcaya," Concepcion countered.

"Since August 1999, the provincial government of Capiz declared a 15-year moratorium on all large-scale mining, later extended up to 50 years. In January 2002, the provincial government of Mindoro Oriental passed a resolution enforcing a 25-year mining moratorium. The provincial government of Eastern Samar also approved an indefinite moratorium on mining. Marinduque, ravaged by the tragic Marcopper-Placer Dome mine spill, also passed resolutions banning mining in the municipalities of Boac and Mogpog. Recently, Mayor Hagedorn of Palawan and Mayor Romeo Tayaban of Kasibu in Nuev Vizcaya also voiced their opposition to the mining projects in their areas of responsibility," she enumerated.

"The ongoing APEC Summit only reveals more of the anti-environment and anti-people policies of the Arroyo administration. While it acts like a rabid dog baring its fangs in its promotion of foreign mining in the Philippines, the Arroyo administration seems to have tucked its tail in when it comes to the issue of global warming," Kalikasan PNE's Bautista said.

CLEMENTE BAUTISTA National Coordinator Kalikasan-People's Network for the Environment (Kalikasan-PNE)

No.26 Matulungin St. Bgy, Central, Quezon City, Philippines 1100 Tel. No. +63-2-9248756 Fax No. +63-2-9209099

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