MANILA, September 18, 2012—Various environmental groups storm Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City this morning, in time with the opening of the International Mining Conference organized by the Chamber of Mines in protest of the issuance of the Environmental Compliance Certificate for the Tampakan Mining Project.
About 500 protesters from environmental organization and human rights advocates asserted that the government should never issue the ECC to the Sagittarius Mines Inc. (SMI) and Xstrata, owners of the Tampakan Mining Project because it is a disaster waiting to happen.
The groups said that the protest is just a part of their one week actions to condemn mining in the country that according to them had put the country’s future in a bad shape.
Disaster to happen
In a press forum, Jaybee Garganera of the Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) said that Tampakan is a disaster that is waiting to happen because it lies above a number of fault lines, which alone is enough to reject the project given its risks to communities and indigenous peoples.
“The past was Marcopper, now is Philex, maybe Tampakan will be next. History will tell us even if mining companies will promise that their mining project will be the best, they cannot face the wrath of nature,” he said.
“In the past, Rapu-Rapu was showcased as the flagship but spilled, currently Philex is the poster boy but is experiencing tailing spill, then three years from now Tampakan is going to be the flagship mining project. It will become a disaster that is waiting to happen,” he added.
The group emphasized that the country cannot afford another mining tragedy to happen.
In a press release, the Haribon Foundation is in support with the Alyansa Tigil Mina’s (ATM) anti-mining solidarity week.
“Mining has threatened and destroyed some of the very sources of life in the country, fragile ecosystems located in an archipelago, the inner workings of which we barely understand and yet we get so much from in terms of ecological services, including water, fresh air, protection from natural hazards, and capture and storage of greenhouse gases,” they said.
The foundation expressed that despite the mining industry’s claims that there is life in mining, what is really seen is the death of people and the environment.
Haribon is in solidarity and expresses full support for the call to ‘Stop the greed, no to large scale mining’ and ‘Stop the destruction, increase the budget for protection’.
They reiterated their support for the growing clamor to repeal the Mining Act of 1995 thru the passage of an Alternative Minerals Management Bill or Philippine Mineral Resources Act of 2012. (Jandel Posion)