Defend Environmental Defenders!
Environmental defenders are under attack in Asia’s deadliest country for environmentalists. In just more than a year under the current administration of President Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines, at least 42 environmental defenders have been killed, 240 have been slapped with harassment lawsuits, and at least 17,748 have been forcibly displaced because of their resistance to destructive projects.
Potition paper presented to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources
For the longest time, the Philippine mining industry has increasingly raked in billions of pesos but has no bearing on domestic economic development. Amidst a global crisis of over production, falling prices, and growing ’resource nationalism’ and grassroots opposition, ‘Big Mining’ in PH is becoming more aggressive to protect its economic interests.
Through neoliberal policies such as the Mining Act of 1995 and Executive Order 79, the industry is foreign dominated, export-oriented, and pays no heed to external costs to the people and the environment.
The issuance of Executive Order 79, Pres. Benigno S. Aquino III’s centerpiece mining policy, long touted by its proponents to provide a clear direction for environmentally responsible and economically equitable mining activities in the country, comes as a great disappointment to the Filipino people.
In its second year of governance, the administration of Benigno Simeon Aquino III has continuously pursued the path of mining liberalization. Mining transnational corporations (TNCs) and their local Philippine counterparts are now rushing to cash in on rising metal prices after the global financial crisis, aiming to reach their target investment of $1.44 billion in 2011 and $1.22 billion in 2012.