MAC/20: Mines and Communities

ZAMBOANGA PENINSULA DECLARATION AGAINST THE MINING OPERATIONS OF TVIRD

Published by MAC on 2006-06-29

ZAMBOANGA PENINSULA DECLARATION AGAINST THE MINING OPERATIONS OF TVIRD

29th June 2006

Press Release Tito Natividad Fiel, DIOPIM Committee on Mining Issues

Jose Dalman, Zamboanga Del Norte, Mindanao, Philippines – The delegates from different towns and barangays [villages] in the region attended a three-day conference during 27-29 June 2006 on the impact of the mining operations of TVI Resource Development (TVIRD) Philippines Inc, and finished by signing a manifesto against the company.

The delegates demanded that President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s administration cancel the company’s Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA), because of its ill-effects on the Subanon community.

The three-page declaration expressed support for the initiatives of the different communities opposing TVI’s mining operations, as well as other aggressive mining operations in the region.

“We the delegates from different TVI mining affected communities of a three-day conference have united our stands and principles for the protection of our respective communities against large-scale and aggressive mining”, declaration says.

According to the conference declaration, TVI’s mining operations have resulted in human rights violations, environmental destruction, disunity of local communities, denial of people’s means of livelihood, dislocation of communities, and the use of abusive armed Special (Citizen Armed Forces Geographical Unit or CAFGU) Armed Auxiliaries (SCAAs).

The conference was united in advocating a genuine development founded on the present needs of the people through prioritising life, the rights of Indigenous People to their ancestral domain and the rights of the ordinary people to access their local resources.

The conference was convened by TVI affected communities from Canatuan, Siocon, Tamarok Jose Dalman of Zamboanga del Norte and Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur, with the cooperation of DIOPIM Committee on Mining Issues, Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC)-Western Mindanao and the Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) of Jose Dalman Zamboanga del Norte.

A campaign staff member of Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center (LRC) National Office spoke on the relation of TVI operations to the Republic Act 7942 (the Mining Act of 1995) and why the Act needs to be scrapped.

Two municipal councillors and the vice mayor of Jose Dalman attended the conference and gave short messages of support. Zamboanga Del Norte Board Member Edgar Baguio spoke in the conference on his position against mining.

An interim body was established in order to carry through the plan of the conference. This new body is called the Initiative for TVI Mining Affected Communities for Good Environment towards Development (IMAGED).

This significant meeting closed with a religious parade along the highway, led by the parishioners and parish priest of Jose Dalman, Rev. Fr. Nemisio Sayon, and participated in by thousands of people from six chapels despite heavy rain.

Rev. Fr. Sayon said the conference, which centred on the grassroots people who are affected by TVI’s operations, was the first of its kind held in Jose Dalman. He expressed satisfaction on the outcome of the conference, affirming, “The recent conference was a real people’s.

TVIRD is the most active and aggressive mining firm in the peninsula at present, and are currently mining in Mt. Canatuan, Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte, but is aggressively expanding its claim towards the adjacent towns and provinces of the region.

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