The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines - Environmental groups against the new mining executive order of President Benigno Aquino III will hold a rally at Mendiola near Malacanang Tuesday to express their opposition to the new policy.
The Kalikasan partylist and the Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment said they will carry a caricature of the President and throw eggs at it and the mining executive order.
What the country needs is a law that will reorient the mining in the country toward national development, the groups said.
Several partylist lawmakers are also of the view that while the new policy will increase the government’s income from mining operations, it will be inimical to the environment and the people, especially the indigenous communities.
Bayan Muna partylist Representative Teddy Casino said he expects groups to question the new policy at the Supreme Court.
“While the executive order closes specific areas to any mining activity and also acknowledges what we have been pointing out that there is no centralized database and information on our country’s mine resources per mineral, it also creates a one-stop shop for all mining applications,” he said.
“It also legitimizes the big mining players’ practice of going through export processing zones that gives these players more profits via so many exemptions on tariffs, duties, and other fees,” Casino added.
Anakpawis partylist Representative Rafael Mariano said that through Executive Order 79, “President Aquino is giving false hopes of economic development through mining and empty promises of environment protection while allowing the wholesale plunder of our natural resources by large-scale local and foreign mining firms.”
Gabriela partylist Representative Luz Ilagan said the President should instead support the Alternative Minerals Management Bill pending in Congress.
”The mining executive order does not intend to change the current expansive spread of mining operations in the country. It does not intend to protect communities or make mining companies liable for the damage that has been inflicted on our resources. The Aquino government’s supposed objective to extract revenue from mining with the new EO is defeated by the fact that our resources have already been plundered to depletion,” Ilagan said.
The group Katribu said the order focusesd only on the increase in revenues and failed to recognize the rights of the indigenous peoples over their land.
“Liberalized mining will continue to devastate our sacred lands, sow division and disunity among our tribes and worsen our poverty situation,"â¨ the group said.