Press Release: Anti-mining coalition slams Mining Chamber’s ‘poster boy’ for responsible mining

Press Release

May 29, 2013

Anti-mining coalition slams Mining Chamber’s ‘poster boy’ for responsible mining

Says Philex, MGB should completely disclose dealings after August mine tailings accident

Alyansa Tigil Mina criticizes Philex Mining Corporation for how irresponsible and misleading it has been since the accidental discharge of more than thirteen million cubic meters of mine waste from its Padcal mine. This is after Philex said that National Power Corporation (Napocor) has no claim despite damages caused to the state-owned San Roque Watershed Reservation.

“It is very unfortunate and outright irresponsible for Philex to snub the Napocor—only one of the sectors that the mine tailings spill in August damaged. How about the other affected communities then? It is undeniable that the incident has not only affected areas covered by their mining tenement but also areas downstream, affecting fishing and farming communities,” said Jaybee Garganera, national coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina.

Napocor has since May 10 written to the company to pay Php 6-billion compensation and penalties for damages caused to the watershed’s reservoir. Meanwhile, in a letter to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Philex said that the Napocor’s claims are immaterial.

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau, as the government body responsible to evaluate, monitor and investigate mining-related incidences, is expected to respond to this and clarify concerns on payment of damages caused by the mines. ATM demanded that MGB must facilitate negotiations and dialogues between the Napocor and Philex, as well as other stakeholders affected by the mine spill.

“We expect the MGB and Philex to be fully transparent, specifically on reporting to the public how the impacts of the mine tailings is being addressed. They should stop misleading the public about their rehabilitation work and include containing mine wastes in the San Roque reservoir,” added GarganeraATM has also demanded earlier that the ECC for the tailings ponds of the Padcal mines be made available to all stakeholders, a demand that has remained unfulfilled.

The MGB said that Philex has paid its fine of Php1.034-billion and has been allowed to resume operations in March. However, the agency is yet to disclose to the public how the rehabilitation and damages were dealt with.

“The Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) candidacy status of the Philippines should convince our government and the players in the industry to be transparent in its dealings and operations. This should be a wake-up call especially to MGB to no longer be silent on the damages of mining and focus only in highlighting its promise of economic growth.”

Recently, the government announced that the EITI Board has accepted and approved the Philippines application for candidacy to comply with EITI. EITI is a global platform aimed at ensuring the transparency in the extractive industries and improve fiscal regulation of natural resources extractive activities.

Alyansa Tigil Mina is an alliance of mining-affected communities and their support groups of NGOs/POs and other civil society organizations who oppose the aggressive promotion of large-scale mining in the Philippines. The alliance is currently pushing for a moratorium on mining, revocation of EO 270-A, repeal of the Mining Act of 1995, and passage of the AMMB. (30)

For more information:
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National, 09277617602
Farah Sevilla, Policy Research & Advocacy, 0915-3313361

6 thoughts on “Press Release: Anti-mining coalition slams Mining Chamber’s ‘poster boy’ for responsible mining

  1. Your very name tells us what’s really wrong. Puro ‘NO to’, ‘Tigil’, ‘Alisin’etc., over-used words of leftist polemic. And typical of a leftist group, you don’t tell us what to do once these things are abolished? Is it just all complaints? Sige, itapon mo ang mga iPhone mo sa basura. Sunugin mo ang mga sasakyan mo. Those are all products of your hated mining.

    If your life isn’t complete unless you have an enemy, then try targeting the illegal small-scale miners, the ones who brazenly violate the law. Or are they too insignificant to a group that feeds on maximum publicity? You are trying to shut down a business that provides not only honest employment but livelihood and government revenue. Speaking of which: How many jobs have you generated? How much taxes have you paid?

    And speaking of enemies, remember one of your despised enemies when they built the San Roque Dam? Now all of a sudden Napocor is your cherished ally? Utter hypocrisy. How Machiavelian: The end justifies the means.

    Uh. . . Six billion Pesos? Where did THAT come from? Or do ‘certain people ‘ have a certain goal in terms of extracting their pound of flesh from Philex, not becasuse it’s right, but because the money is there, money, which is being used for the cleanup. If the rehab grinds to a halt, we know who’s to blame.

    No to hypocrisy!

    1. we say no to mining for a lot of reasons. mainly because the benefits from mining outweigh social and environmental impacts felt by mining-affected, and downstream communities. not to mention the human rights violations experienced by communities who say no to mining because they do not want their lands to be devastated by irresponsible miners, just like Philex in this case.

      1. So are you categorically saying that ALL mining is wrong, and that there is no such thing as responsible mining? Again, consider the alternatives if mining is totally eradicated. We couldn’t even be said to be going back to the Stone Age, because quarrying stone is a form of mining.

        If, on the other hand, you believe that responsible mining is possible, I submit that lumping Philex and other major mining companies (who observe the law and even return to the earth and community with reforestation, livelihood etc.) with the illegal small scale miners is – well, irresponsible.

  2. this shud be adress to all NGO/ activist.. u people dont understand what life is without mining.. civilization/ modernization is impossible.. wag nga kayong epal.. you enjoy every bit of it. dba?

    1. we understand perfectly how mining plays a role in development, but the question is, development for whom and whose expense? check our mining-affected communities and see how mining destroys our beautiful country–for the development of foreign companies.

  3. i guess u completely miss the point,there are two kinds of mining. and It’s the small scale illegal miners, They’re the ones who wreak havoc on evirnonment and don’t pay taxes. They’re the ones who don’t think twice about taking over land sacred to indigenous peoples.
    and this large miners are the responsible kind who subject themselves to regulation.

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