Manifesto on mining in Zamboanga Peninsula

ZAMPEN Manifesto
Date of publication: 
24 November, 2010

WE, the 80 delegates to the ZAMBOANGA PENINSULA ENVIRONMENTAL CONFERENCE (ZAMPEN) coming from all walks of life in the Provinces of Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay, Misamis Occidental and Lanao del Norte,

COGNIZANT to the fact that an overwhelming majority of the people in the peninsula are dependent on agriculture, fisheries and forestry whose livelihoods could be impacted by mining;

AWARE that as of the end of 2008, an estimated 45.25 percent or a total of 703,598 hectares of the Zamboanga Peninsula’s total land area of 1,554,865 hectares has been applied by 137 mining companies with various mining permit applications in the form of Exploration Permits (EP), Mineral Production Sharing Agreements (MPSA) and Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA);

ALARMED that as of December 31, 2009 a total of 15 MPSA’s covering 47,889.51 hectares and 3 Exploration Permits covering 13,776.48 hectares or a total of 61,665.99 hectares had been approved for mining exploration and exploitation by the Mines and Geo-sciences Bureau;

CONCERNED that the minerals extracted from these mining areas are not for the industrialization and the modernization of agriculture of the Philippines but for the ever increasing demand of minerals for industrialization of other countries and manufacture of advance weapons for war and destruction;

DISTURBED by the environmental damages and social problems like dislocation and conflict in the communities, and disrespect to the rights of the indigenous peoples, where mining has operated;

BOTHERED by the fact that the Philippine government still continue to believe that mining is a major driver of economic growth and welcome mining investment with very little regulation;

WORRIED with the fact that the present mining laws are in conflict with other national laws that promotes healthful environment and local empowerment;

DEEPLY CONCERNED with the ongoing trend that the mining industry in Zamboanga Peninsula is being observed to encroached to agricultural lands, watershed areas, ancestral domains and the initial impact of current mining operations has resulted to health effects, dislocations of families, reduced agricultural productions, destruction of water sources and various disasters brought about by flooding, soil erosions and siltation;

WITH INNERMOST AND SINCERE DESIRE to promote life and to attain worldly ethical happiness by way of protecting, promoting and preserving the creations of God particularly the environment and/or eco-system in general,

DO HEREBY call for the following action:

1. MORATORIUM of processing and approval of all forms of mining permit applications within the Zamboanga Peninsula;

2. REVOCATION of all approved permits but has not fully operated;

3. CONDUCT independent REVIEW of all existing mining operations and CANCEL the permits of all those who have violated existing laws and has caused environmental and social damages; (plantations)

4. ENDORSE and SUPPORT for the passage into Law of the Alternative Mineral Resources Management Bill;

5. ENSURE that Local Government Units at provincial, municipal and barangay levels will have Environmental Codes that ensure the protection, conservation and regeneration of all renewable resources;

6. ENSURE that lands classified as agricultural, forestal or protected areas shall not be converted into mineral lands and such policies shall be clearly expressed in the provincial framework plans and the municipal and barangay Comprehensive Land Use Plans (CLUP);

7. PROMOTE inter-generational justice and the integrity of creation, and the promotion of the culture of peace;

8. SUSTAIN environmental education with emphasis on the economic, ecological and cultural impact of extractive industries like mining, oil and natural gas extraction, and energy generation.

DONE in this 24th day of November in the year of our Lord, 2010 at Grand Plaza Hotel, Sanito, Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay.