MANILA, Oct. 6, 2011— Leaders of various Christian Churches have issued a unified declaration demoing an end to large-scale surface mining by transnational companies (TNC) in the country.
The Ecumenical Bishops Forum (EBF) declaration calls for the government to scrap the Mining Act of 1995 that allows foreign investors to fully own local mining ventures.
The progressives among the leaders of Christian churches said that the guaranteed economic benefits of mining outweighed by dislocation of communities, the risk to health and livelihood, and massive environmental damage.
“Thus, to further liberalize the mining industry in favor of the mining corporations as being trumpeted by the Aquino administration will mean more suffering and death, dislocation, displacement and ruin of the environment,” they said.
The organization of Catholic, Protestants, and Evangelical bishops made the statement Thursday at the end of the 2-day mining forum in Legaspi City, Albay.
“Destructive mining is blatantly unethical, unjust, and senseless for it exacerbates poverty, causes dislocation of livelihood of the people, and even threatens the base of life and life itself,” the EBF said.
“It is lamentable that the national government equates TNC mining with development, and is remiss in its duties in protecting the environment to the detriment of the people,” it added.
The church leaders also called on the public to demand moratorium of large scale mining and the demilitarization of mining communities as well for the passage of the proposed People’s Mining Bill, known as the HB 4315. [CBCPNews]