Nature is Groaning - Diocesan Social Action Centers in the Face of the Mining ManiaPublished by MAC on 2005-06-10
Nature is Groaning - Diocesan Social Action Centers in the Face of the Mining Mania
Paid advert that appeared in June 10, 2005 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer
We, Diocesan Social Action Centers (DSACs) based in dioceses that are actually and has the potential to be affected by mining operations in the country, reiterate the following concrete actions that, through his letter on 31 January 2005 to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines President Archbishop Fernando Capalla asked government to institute:
1. Require concerned mining companies to demonstrate goodwill by cleaning up mine tailings and rehabilitating open pits. If there are ongoing efforts along this line, supply us with updates from a participative and multisectoral perspective.
2. Require mining companies whose prior operations were questioned on grounds of lack or absence of social acceptability to address such concerns, particularly by strictly adhering to regulations prescribed by law.
3. Furnish us a list of companies seeking mining permits. This must include all companies regardless of whether their applications are pending or have already been approved. Armed with the list, we will coordinate with our overseas partners to examine the track record of these companies in their home countries and areas of operation.
4. Supply us with concrete figures detailing projected amounts that government expects each mining company and each mine site to infuse into the economy, including amounts that will be repatriated to the home country of each mining company.
5. Supply us with concrete figures detailing the scope of employment that each mining operation will generate, including terms of employment citing nature, tenure and remuneration.
6. Prior to approval of a mining permit, require mining companies whose operations will dislocate populations to submit comprehensive and viable relocation plans that ensure decent and humane habitation.
7. Prior to approval of a mining permit, require mining companies to communicate objectively and honestly the beneficial and adverse effects that their operations will create.
8. In the interest of transparency, make records and documents produced pertaining to the foregoing requisites open to the public.
9. Finally, identify pro-environment and pro-poor alternatives.
- We affirm Church Social Teachings (CSTs) on Responsible Stewardship, Universal Destination of Goods, Integrity of Creation, Human Dignity, Subsidiarity and Peoples Participation, Co-responsibility and Accountability, and Preferential Option for the Poor;
- We reject government laws and strategies that undermine CST values;
- We believe that mining is not a foolproof remedy to poverty;
- We oppose aggressive and exploitative large-scale mining;
- We agree to small-scale mining as long as it is not treated as a primary source of income; and
- We urge government to craft pro-poor development programs that respect Philippine culture and patrimony.
Signed by 31 DSACs from mining-affected dioceses
in Tagaytay City on 18-20 April 2005