CSO Assessment of Mining in MTPDP

Source: 
ATM Release
Date of publication: 
13 August, 2010

CSO Assessment of MTPDP (2004-2010) — Mining

Executive Summary

In the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan for 2004-2010, (Chapter 3, Environment and Natural Resources), the government —- unmindful of all the possible impacts of mining to environment and food security —- had wanted to intensify and revitalize the mining industry in the Philippines. The government had targeted to undertake a huge number of large-scale mining operations in that six-year period, expecting at least $6 billion (Php 288 billion) worth of investments in the hope of boosting the Philippine economy and create thousands of direct and indirect mining-related jobs.

But as the MTPDP is nearing its target date of completion, the government will surely miss almost all of its target outputs as indicated in its medium term plan for the mining industry. As of September 2009, mining investments have only totaled $2.1 billion (Php 100.8 billion) since 2004 or just 35% of the total target investments in the MTPDP 2004-2010. The mining industry’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product of the Philippines in 2008 is just 1.4%.

Mining also failed to meet its MTPDP target of 239,000 indirect and direct employment. As of 2008, the government reported that only 13,462 jobs were created by the mining industry or a mere 5.36% of its intended projection.

The government also failed to collect $7 billion (Php 336 billion) in excise taxes. In 2007, the total taxes collected by the government were just $ 0.55 billion (Php 26 billion) or 8% of its total target.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reported only Php 2 billion in paid-up investment in mining.

These facts and figures debunk the claim that mining will bring economic growth and will create hundreds of thousands of jobs in the Philippines. It is a misplaced economic policy. Instead, mining poses serious threats to the gains of the country’s asset reform program. Moreover, it is in direct conflict with sustainable development initiatives.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) recognizes that mining pollutes the land and water sources such as rivers and lakes. There appears to be a disjunction between their assessment and recommendations on mining.

Mining clearly has environmental impacts that would affect not only those areas and communities within and near the mining operations, but also impacts greatly on water and most other natural resources.

According to the Mines, Minerals and Sustainable Development (MMSD) Report, the most obvious impact to biodiversity from mining is the removal of vegetation, which in turn alters the availability of food and shelter for wildlife. At a broader scale, mining may impact biodiversity by changing species composition and structure.

The government also failed to rehabilitate at least three abandoned and inactive mines. Presently, it is only the Philippine Pyrite mine in Bagacay in Western Samar that is undergoing rehabilitation.

The government failed to fully address the Marcopper mining tailings spills based on the Mining Ombudsman case report by Oxfam. We tried to validate the report with regard to the status of the spills but documents were not made available.

Finally, the only MTPDP commitment where the government exceeded its target is the attempt to drumbeat the revitalization of the Philippine mining industry. The Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) and DENR conducted several events showcasing the Philippines as a mining haven, but still failed to meet their investment targets.

This report recommends that the Philippine government must revoke its policy of revitalizing the Philippine mining industry, specifically EO 270-A. The current Philippine Mining Act must be scrapped and a new law on mineral management must be enacted. In the interim, a moratorium on large-scale mining must be established in order to protect not only the integrity of the fragile ecology, but also to uphold human rights and access to natural resources by the vulnerable and poor.

CSO Assessment of MTPDP (2004-2010) — Mining

AlyansaTigil Mina, 2010, pp 1-28

Note

Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) is an alliance of mining-affected communities and their support groups of NGOs/POs and other civil society organizations who are opposing the aggressive promotion of large-scale mining in the Philippines.

The group is calling for the scrapping of the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 and the enactment of a new mineral management law.

They are also pushing for the revocation of EO 270-A, and a moratorium on all large-scale mining applications and operations.

ATM is convened by HARIBON Foundation, Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center — Kasama sa Kalikasan /Friends of the Earth Philippines (LRC-KsK/FOEI), and the Philippine Partnership for the Development of Human Resources in Rural Areas (PhilDHRRA).

Contact Information:
Alyansa Tigil Mina National Secretariat
c/o Haribon Office, 2F Santos and Sons Bldg. #973 Aurora Blvd., Cubao, Quezon City,
1109 Philippines
Telephone: +63 (02) 434-4642
Telefax: +63 (02) 434-4696
nc [at] alyansatigilmina [dot] net/ alyansatigilmina [at] gmail [dot] com
website: www.alyansatigilmina.net