Development Issues

Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines face a range of threats from what they frequently describe as 'development aggression'. As they struggle to defend their land, much of it is in areas of forest or mountain that are rich in natural resources and so conflicts often arise with companies, many of them based outside the Philippines, who want to exploit those resources - mostly without the consent of the Indigenous Peoples.

The main problems that Indigenous Peoples face are from large-scale mining that digs up their land, in the construction of large-scale dams that floods their land, in widespread logging that deforests their land, or in the creation of nature reserves or agriculture that sees them ejected from or restricted in access to their own land.

All of these activities can lead to conflict which leads to militarisation of their land, and in loss of livelihood or encroachment of settlements which can lead urbanisation.

Declaration of the Indigenous Communities of the Central Plateau in Chubut Province, Argentina

Date of publication: 
20 May, 2010

[Editorial introduction by Luis Claps of Mines & Communities – Despite open pit metal mining is banned in Chubut province since April 2003 by Law 5001 (passed by provincial legislative power following the Esquel referendum resulting in the cancellation of Meridian Gold proposed gold mine), the government have allowed exploration companies to find and develop mineral deposits which require this type of mining activities to be exploited.]

At the end of last year Pan American Silver took over the Navidad silver-lead proyect from Aquiline Resources, showing that the industry is confident in ove

PIPLinks letter to President Arroyo re CERD

Source: 
http://www.piplinks.org/system/files/PIPLinks+letter+to+President+re+CERD+2009-1.doc
Date of publication: 
18 September, 2009

President Arroyo
c/o the Philippines Embassy
8 Suffolk Street
London, SW1 4HG

18 September 2009

Your Excellency,

I am taking the opportunity of your visiting the United Kingdom, to write on behalf of Indigenous Peoples Links, a UK-based support organisation working to uphold and promote the collective and individual human rights of Indigenous Peoples. We would like to raise issues around the concluding observations of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), which were made public on 31st August 2009.

Moratorium on mining activities sought to avoid food shortage

Source: 
Business World - Vol. XXII, No. 126
Date of publication: 
28 January, 2009

KORONADAL CITY — Foreign environmentalists asked the government yesterday to impose a moratorium on mining to avoid food problems, specifically rice shortage, in the long term, echoing the sentiment earlier raised by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

The London Working Group on Mining in the Philippines unveiled here results of their study conducted across six mining sites in the country, which was attended by multisectoral stakeholders including the local Catholic Church, academe, nongovernmental organizations, farmers and local government officials.

The stu

Vizcaya town seeks TRO vs mining firm

Source: 
Malaya
Date of publication: 
25 January, 2009

THE local government of Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya on Thursday petitioned the Supreme Court to issue a temporary restraining order enjoining the Department of Environment and Natural Resources against allowing mining company Oceana Gold to operate in the ore-rich Didipio region.

The Sangguniang Bayan of Kasibu through Mayor Romeo Tayaban also asked the high court for a writ of injunction against Environment Secretary Angelo Reyes for continuing to implement the Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) of Oceana Gold by issuing the necessary permits for its implementation.

Tayaban

Mining firm backed group acquires water rights in Vizcaya town

Source: 
Floro Taguinod, GMANews.TV
Date of publication: 
24 January, 2009

BAYOMBONG, Philippines – Water has become a highly precious resource. There are some places where a barrel of water costs more than a barrel of oil.

Video of the International Solidarity Mission

Source: 
Video of the International Solidarity Mission
Date of publication: 
22 January, 2009

Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment and Kodao productions are pleased to announced that the short version of the video of the International Solidarity Mission (ISM) can now be viewed.

BHP Billiton Can Proceed With Philippines Nickel Mine-Secy

Source: 
Dow Jones Commodities News Select via Comtex
Date of publication: 
21 January, 2009

MANILABHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) will be allowed to pursue development plans for a Philippine nickel mine after an international arbitration panel ruled in the Australian miner’s favor in a conflict with a local partner, Philippines Environment Secretary Jose Atienza said Wednesday.

BHP won the case and this should wake up the local partner that BHP is decided to remain in the Philippines and exercise their rights on the (joint venture) agreement.” Atienza told reporters.

Statement of the Bishop of Calapan on Mining in Oriental Mindoro

Source: 
Public Statement of Bishop Warlito I. Cajandig, Apostolic Vicar of Calapan, Clarifying his Position on the Issue of Mining in the Province of Oriental Mindoro
Date of publication: 
19 January, 2009

The issue of mining is a very significant concern confronting our province, and the Church as well, for it is very much connected with life and well being of our people. Hence I would like to reiterate my position on this issue to give clarification on my stand and to challenge the faithful and the Christian communities facing this problem.

It is my conviction that any project, if it is really intended for development, should genuinely respond to the needs of the people in order for them to have the fullness of life.

Church group hits PSG for 'abuses' in Zambo

Source: 
GMANews.tv
Date of publication: 
10 January, 2009

MANILA, Philippines – Church officials in Zamboanga del Sur province scored Presidential Security Group (PSG)for allegedly forcing three parish workers to strip shortly before President Arroyo’s visit there last Tuesday.

The Ecclesiastical province of Dipolog, Iligan, Ozamiz, Pagadian, Ipil and Marawi (DIOPIM-DCMI) Committee on Mining Issue said the act caused tension during Arroyo’s hour-long visit.

An article on the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said three presidential guards accosted three workers of San Jose parish for wearing shirts with inscriptions “Stop Mi

Philippine army targets mines to defeat rebels

Source: 
Reuters
Date of publication: 
8 January, 2009

MANILA – The Philippine military will step up efforts this year in two small-scale gold mining regions that have become the focus and funding source for a Maoist-led insurgency, defence and military officials said on Thursday.

Security forces are targeting dismantling guerrilla bases of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) rebels around mining areas in Compostela Valley on the southern Mindanao island and northern mountains in Abra, Defence Secretary Gilberto Teodoro said.

“I am now beginning to doubt the intentions of the communist rebels in these mining areas,” Teodoro told Reuters

Hyundai keen on OceanaGold project

Source: 
Reuters
Date of publication: 
8 January, 2009

MANILA, Philippines — Australian miner OceanaGold is in talks with South Korea’s Hyundai Group to help fund its $320-million Didipio gold and copper project in the Philippines, a senior government official said on Thursday.

Hyundai is among several investors OceanaGold is negotiating with since putting the mining project on hold in December due to funding difficulties, Horacio Ramos, director of the mines and geosciences bureau, told reporters.

He declined to name the other potential investors.

Ramos said in October that Hyundai was looking at investing in mining projects in the Ph

2010 ‘mining country’ aspiration at risk

Source: 
Business World - Vol. XXII, No. 111
Date of publication: 
7 January, 2009

CLOSING DOWN a mine is not just a matter of giving employees their walking papers and putting a padlock on the door. Indeed, when a mine ceases operations, a full-blown cleanup (plus sometimes an orderly dismantling) follows. Or at least that is what should happen.

Over the last three decades, several large-scale mines in the country have been shut down because of economic loss, labor disputes, or a rejected mining application. But none of these mines was rehabilitated right after closure; unfortunately, government regulations at the time lacked the provision to enforce remediation.

Youth forms HR alliance

Source: 
Northern Dispatch
Date of publication: 
4 January, 2009

BAGUIO CITY — The young generation of Baguio is ready to face the new year with the resolve to forge a tough group of human rights defenders come 2009.

“Our resolve to provide avenues for the promotion of human rights by the first quarter of 2009 is as ready as our fireworks for this new year,” said Anjo Rey Cerdeña, member of the committee formed to prepare for the first general assembly of Young Defenders.

He says their generation has read, heard and seen so much about the country’s poor human rights record in the past years.

Anti-Mining Activist Gunned Down in ComVal

Source: 
Pinoy Press
Date of publication: 
24 December, 2008

An anti-large scale mining activist was killed by unidentified men yesterday, 23 December 2008, at New Bataan, Compostela Valley Province, environmental activist group Panalipdan-Southern Mindanao Region (SMR) today reported.

At around 7:00 in the evening, an unidentified men brutally killed 39-year old environmental activist leader Fernando “Dodong” Sarmiento, Secretary General of Panalipdan-New Bataan, at Purok 1, Barangay Cabinuangan, New Bataan, Compostela Valley Province, said Panalipdan-SMR spokesperson Francis Morales, citing reports from the field.

“Dodong Sarmiento susta

Norway firm delays Philippine mine plan

Source: 
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Date of publication: 
13 December, 2008

Norway-based Intex Resources said it had deferred the completion of a definitive feasibility study for its nickel mining project in Mindoro Island, south of Manila, including a $2.9-billion plant, from early next year to the fourth quarter of 2009, citing as reason the global financial crisis.

“The new schedule is a board decision that will optimize the process and cost efficiency of the [feasibility study], in reference to the current global financial situation,” Intex president and chief executive Erlend Grimstad said in statement.

Grimstad said that despite the global economic cri

Australian Mining Company Royalco Violates Indigenous Community’s Collective Right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent

Source: 
Cordillera Peoples Alliance Urgent Action
Date of publication: 
12 December, 2008

Australian mining company Royalco Resources Limited has grossly violated the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) of the Kankanaey indigenous community in Gambang, Bakun municipality, Benguet province here in the Cordillera region, for manipulating the FPIC process for a 5,400-hectare (Exploration Permit Application No. CAR-0001) in the said community. The community has collectively declared and asserted that it is not allowing large mining in Gambang, but inspite of the manifested community opposition and rejection, Royalco continues to manipulate the FPIC and insist its exploration.

Anti large-scale mining battle of Nueva Vizcaya gets ardent back-up

Source: 
Kalikasan-PNE Press Release
Date of publication: 
9 December, 2008

International and national and delegates from church, health, youth, peasant, scientists, indigenous peoples (IP) and environmental groups showed support to the anti-large-scale mining campaign of Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya through a three-day International Solidarity Mission (ISM). The delegates of the ISM avow to gather strong support from other sectors and organizations, both here and abroad.

“We were surprised at the solid campaign of the people to defend their lands and rights by opposing large-scale mining in their communities.

Filipino environment advocates slam Australian mining project

Source: 
The Philippine Times
Date of publication: 
6 December, 2008

A group of environment advocates from the Philippines recently slammed an Australian mining company.

Sibuyan Island Sentinels coordinator Rodne Galicha vented the group’s sentiments against the nickel supply agreement between BHP Billiton, the mining company, and the Sibuyan Nickle Properties Development Corporation (SNPDC).

Chief among these concerns are their group’s concern for what the mining project would do to the environment of Sibuyan.

Galicha said that they are worried over the activities of Queensland Nickel, a BHP Billiton subsidiary, which wants to establish a nickel mine

Farmers install 15–foot scarecrow to ward off mining firm

Source: 
http://www.insidemindanao.com/
Date of publication: 
4 December, 2008

“The women, men, youth, and children assisted in the installation of a 15 feet tall scarecrow as our symbolic edifice against mining,” Rizalina Lisbos, a mother of four, narrated.

The members of Anislagan Bantay Kalikasan Task Force (ABAKATAF) of barangay Anislagan, Placer, Surigao del Norte installed a scarecrow as a symbol of the community’s strong staunch against mining which threatens their farm lands.

Anislagan is an agricultural community of about 400 households or roughly 2,000 individuals.

Fostering Dependence

Source: 
http://newsbreak.com.ph
Date of publication: 
28 November, 2008

Sagittarius Mines is spending close to P30 million a year in financial aid to the B’laan tribes and host barangays.

Britain's Crew Gold cuts jobs at Philippines mine

Source: 
Agence France Presse
Date of publication: 
28 January, 2008

MANILA – Crew Gold Corp. of Britain said Thursday it was cutting 150 workers from its gold mine in the southern Philippines to save money amid depressed metal prices.

The Maco mine on the island of Mindanao cut the jobs “to sustain the economic viability of the mine project,” Crew’s listed local unit Apex Mining Co. told the Philippine Stock Exchange in a disclosure.

About 150 rank and file managers and staff have been laid off, including all but two specialised foreign technicians, it added.

Crew had hired 1,955 people for the project, which had just started production.

Troops deployed to secure Tampakan minesite

Source: 
MindaNews
Date of publication: 
2 January, 2008

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/2 Jan) — To prevent another attack on the facilities of Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI), elements of the Philippine Army will be fielded to the company’s base camp in Tampakan, South Cotabato.

First Lieutenant Nathaniel Morales, 27th Infantry Battalion civil affairs division in-charge, said the military will field soldiers whether the company will request it or not.

SouthCot to DOE and mining firms: Don't bypass us

Source: 
Written by Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews
Date of publication: 
14 November, 2006

GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Local officials in South Cotabato have censured the Department of Energy (DOE) and the three mining companies exploring the coal deposits in the mountains of Lake Sebu town for bypassing the authority of the provincial government over the proposed large-scale coal mining development project in the area. South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes said the failure of the DOE and the mining firms Daguma Agro-Minerals Inc., Bonanza Energy Resources Inc.

Catholic-backed lobby says Philippines mine "will turn mountain upside down"

Source: 
http://www.cathnews.com/news/611/77.php
Date of publication: 
13 November, 2006

Three Philippines Catholic diocesan centres are backing opposition to an Australian funded open cut copper and gold mine in the country’s south that has been described by community leaders as an “environmental catastrophe looming over heads”.

The Philippines Sun-Star reports groups backed by the local Church, opposed to the project, have repeatedly warned that the proposed open cut mine will cause irreparable damage to the environment.

Eliezer Billanes, chairman of Soccsksargends Agenda, said open pit mining method will turn the mountains upside down.

Paying Pro-TVI Canadian Mining Rally

Source: 
By Tito Natividad Fiel, DIOPIM Committee on Mining Issues (DCMI)
Date of publication: 
11 November, 2006

Dipolog City – Contrary to the press report released by the Canadian mining company TVI Pacific in Zamboanga and Dipolog City a week ago that they have been welcomed by the people in Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur, the regional Church based group here alleges that TVI had paid people to rally in support of their local mining operations.

The community organizer from the Prelature of Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay reported that on November 8, “contrary to the company’s public relation work, TVI’s pro-mining rally on October 30 and 31 was not genuinely supported by the people of Bayog.”

Once-idyllic island center of debate on mining

Source: 
By Cyrain Cabueñas, Inquirer - http://services.inq7.net/print/print.php?article_id=27491
Date of publication: 
19 October, 2006

GUIUAN, Eastern Samar — On a clear day, Manicani Island looks imposing, dwarfing the other island villages of this town facing the Pacific Ocean.

In the heart of the island lies its secret: two huge gaping craters carved by heavy machinery.

About an hourlong boat ride from the town proper, Manicani is home to Hinatuan Mining Corp.

For many years, Manicani has served as a haven for people who wanted to commune with nature or check out World War II artifacts.

Success! Canadian Parliamentary Committee tables a Constructive Report on Corporate Responsibility

Source: 
Written by Maryanne Mutch, DCMI
Date of publication: 
23 June, 2005

Ottawa, Canada – The Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade has tabled a report to the Canadian Parliament asking for an investigation to be conducted on the impact of TVI Pacific’s Canatuan mining project in Mindanao. If approved, the investigation will look into company’s impact on human rights and indigenous rights and will also examine environmental effects of the project.

Canatuan residents report that TVI mine tailings are leaking into their creeks.

Date of publication: 
4 May, 2005

DCMI has recently heard reports from the community on Canatuan that mine tailings from TVI’s operations have been leaking out into the Lumot Creek. This creek runs into the Lituban River which, in turn, runs into the Siocon River and to the coastal area.

Delegation from Siocon meets with Canadian Members of Parliament

Source: 
Written by Maryanne Mutch, DCMI
Date of publication: 
1 April, 2005

Ottawa, Canada – Onsino Mato and Godofredo Galos of Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte, went to Canada to present before the parliamentary Subcommittee on Human Rights and International Development of the Standing Committee of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. They, along with MiningWatch Canada and Rights and Democracy presented what is happening in Canatuan to an attentive audience. Overall, the response of the committee was very supportive toward the delegation.

TVI Steps up its Offensive and Threatens Legal Action Against a Canadian NGO

Source: 
Written by Maryanne Mutch, DCMI
Date of publication: 
1 April, 2005

Anyone currently visiting MiningWatch Canada’s website (www.miningwatch.ca) will now see an intriguing notice from the organization. The statement reads:

Material related to the TVI Pacific Inc. Canatuan Mine project has been temporarily removed from the MiningWatch Canada web site due to a letter received from TVI’s legal counsel alleging defamation. MiningWatch Canada is reviewing the matter with our legal counsel. We have posted the letter from TVI’s legal counsel here and will respond in due course.

Open Response to the Letter Written by Juanito Tumangkis and Attorney Pablo Bernardo

Source: 
DCMI (DIOPIM Committee on Mining Issues)
Date of publication: 
7 March, 2005

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a response to the highly misleading and slanderous statement issued by Juanito Tumangkis and Attorney Pablo Bernardo on February 20, 2005. We feel that a response must be made in order to counter the many untruths and half truths made by Tumangkis in this statement. We are astounded that Tumangkis would have the audacity to claim he speaks for all the Subanons of Siocon and then deliberately misrepresent the views of so many of them.

1. In response to Tumangkis’ introduction

Demands to “Scrap the Mining Act” Continue to Reverberate through the Zamboangan Peninsula

Source: 
-Written by Maryanne Mutch of DCMI
Date of publication: 
7 March, 2005

Dipolog City, Philippines – Zamboangan residents remain strongly
opposed to foreign miners despite Government claims that the
Philippine Mining Sector is now “Open for Business”. From February 20 to 21, 2005, the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines-Western Mindanao sponsored a “Zamboangan Peninsula Wide Discussion Against Mining” in Dipolog City. During the forum, delegates from mining-affected communities clearly voiced their opposition to RA 7942 (commonly known as the Mining Act) and strategized ways to protect their communities from its harmful ramifications.

Over 500 People Sign a Petition Opposing TVI's Expansion Plans

Source: 
Written by Maryanne Mutch, DCMI
Date of publication: 
15 December, 2004

Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte – Over 500 people signed a petition in the communities of R.T. Lim, Labason, and Sibuco against the expansion plan of TVI in their area. This petition was first presented to a representative of the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR) during an Environmental Forum in Siocon on November 12th. It was later mailed to the desks of DENR Secretary Mike Defensor, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, and the Mines Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Regional Director Mamao Macapodi.

DCMI's Response to the Supreme Court Ruling of 1 December 2004

Source: 
Written by Maryanne Mutch, DCMI
Date of publication: 
13 December, 2004

The DIOPIM Committee on Mining Issues expresses its dismay and strong opposition to the Supreme Court rulings made on December 1, 2004. On this date the Court reversed the ruling that it made previously on January 29, 2004 regarding the ‘unconstitutionality’ of the Mining Act and the Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) provision which allows 100% foreign ownership of investment capital.

A call for the Cancellation of TVI’s MPSA by Bishop Jose Manguiran

Source: 
Written by Maryanne Mutch, DCMI
Date of publication: 
26 October, 2004

Diopolog City, Zamboanga del Norte, Mindanao, Philippines – On October 23, 2004 Bishop Jose R. Manguiran of Dipolog issued a call to the Philippine Government for the cancellation of TVI’s Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) in the Canatuan area. TVI Resource Development Philippines is a subsidiary of the Canadian mining company TVI Pacific. It was granted the MPSA to the Canatuan area in Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte on 23 October, 1996.

Greetings to the Cordillera Peoples Alliance on Cordillera Day in 2009

Source: 
Philippine Indigenous Peoples Links

We, Philippine Indigenous Peoples Links (PIPLinks) send our greetings and solidarity to you in your struggle to achieve full recognition and respect for your Indigenous Rights and Indigenous Culture.

The Cordillera Peoples Alliance is recognised and respected internationally for its struggle to defend and promote Indigenous Peoples Rights. It is the activism of organisations like the CPA that has led to the momentous passage by the United Nations of the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007.

Uphold Indigenous Peoples' Rights, Stop Development Aggression

Source: 
10 December 2008

Philippines Mining – Uphold Indigenous Peoples’ Rights, Stop Development Aggression!

LRC-KsK Press Statement

10 December 2008

While the world commemorates the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Filipino people, especially the Indigenous Peoples and the rural poor have yet to realize their worth as humans as the Arroyo administration continues to trample on their fundamental rights.

Indigenous communities, despite the promises of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) remain largely neglected, underserved and undeveloped.

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