Up to 15 per cent of the Philippine population - about ten million people - belong to distinct indigenous communities and retain a close link with their traditions. They avoided Hispanisation during Spain's 350-year colonisation of the Philippines. In 1987, after the fall of the Marcos regime, a revised Philippine Constitution recognised the ancestral land rights of indigenous people, and ten years later, in 1997, those rights finally became law in the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act.
The Indigenous Peoples' Rights Act (IPRA) is modelled on the provisions of the UN Draft Declaration on Indigenous Peoples' Rights. In theory IPRA is one of the most enlightened laws dealing with Indigenous Peoples, recognising the free prior and informed consent (FPIC) of Indigenous Peoples, and asserting that in the absence of such a clear level of consent, a project cannot proceed. In practice however, this is regularly undermined, not least by legislation such as the 1995 Mining Code, which in many cases gives mining claims to the same Indigenous land supposedly covered by IPRA. Indigenous Peoples communities and organisations, and their supporters, have been vocal in fighting for their legal rights for many years, and the struggle continues.
Philippines – On the 24th August more than 300 members of local communities from Didipio, Nueva Vizcaya, and their allies gathered to demand that Australian mining multinational Oceana Gold ceases operations at its Didipio mine and leaves the area.
Oceana Gold (Philippines) (OGPI) has been operating its Didipio gold-copper mine in the area since 2013. Its activities have been dogged by controversy.
More and more communities winning fight against large-scale mines
Faith-based groups in Manila have welcomed the decision of a Philippines congressional panel declaring a small northern tribal town free from large-scale mining.
“It is a strong demonstration that mining in many rural communities is not acceptable,” said Ed Garingan, head of the anti-mining campaign of the Philippine Misereor Partnership Incorporated (PMPI).
PMPI is a social development network of about 300 people’s organizations, faith-based groups, and Misereor, the overseas development agency of the Catholic
MANILA — The House Committee on Natural Resources has given the green light to declare the municipality of Kibungan, Benguet a mining-free zone.
The House panel, chaired by Rep. Francisco T. Matugas, has approved and endorsed plenary passage of HB 5957, as contained in Committee Report 808, in substitution of the original HB 5475, principally authored by Rep. Ronald M.
MANILA – Ten murders; local government opposition; environmental warnings; a United Nations official’s alarm over the displacement of thousands of rural folk — there’s no stopping the controversial Tampakan mines project in Central Mindanao.
South Cotabato Gov.
The provincial government of South Cotabato is holding its ground on its decision not to allow open pit mining in any part in the province, putting again on hold the future of Sagittarius Mines Inc (SMI).
SMI owns the Tampakan Copper and Gold Project located in the mountainous area of Tampakan in South Cotabato.
In a resolution passed on July 21, the provincial board “reaffirmed the validity of Section 22 (B) of the Environment Code that prohibited the use of the open-pit mining method in mining activities” anywhere in South Cotabato.
The Provincial Environment Code was passed i
Sustainable development through community engagement: the case for the SDGs
The mineral resources of many developing countries have been viewed as a potential capital that can finance initiatives for sustainable development. However, in the Philippines, mining has never been an agent of development. Instead the decades-long operations of large-scale mining companies in the country have not made any noticeable dent on the fiscal health of the country.
In fact, the overall contribution of mining to the economy is less than one percent of the Philippines’ GDP.
CITY OF CALAPAN—The provincial government is taking the lead in a rally against a mining firm here today, issuing a memorandum on June 9 requiring all officials and employees of capitol to take part in the protest action.
The memo was issued by Gov. Alfonso Umali Jr.
“To demonstrate our constant opposition and strong objection to the operation of Intex in the province…all will gather at the provincial government grounds at 2 p.m.
THE mayor of Mankayan town is convinced Lepanto Consolidated Mining Corporation (LCMC) still needs the consent of the community to keep its gold mines in the area open.
Lepanto needs a Free Prior Informed Consent because “that is the law,” Mayor Materno Luspian said.
Lepanto is seeking renewal of its Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) for its Victoria mine in Benguet after it expired last March.
Local officials insist the company cannot apply for a renewal without an FPIC, which is required by the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act (IPRA).
But Lepanto said it is not covere
Cagayan de Oro – Leaders of B’laan from Bong Mal in Tampakan, South Cotabato submitted today a position paper to the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) en banc against their regional counterparts’ activities to facilitate the free prior and informed consent (FPIC) required for the Tampakan Copper and Gold Project.
Five leaders went to CDO to request the en banc to immediately order the postponement of any FPIC-related activities in their area.
Red tape, opposition from indigenous people mar efforts to fulfill country’s mining potential
On the island of Mindoro in the Philippines, a tribe contemplates the impact a proposed nickel mine will have on its way of life.
MINDORO, The Philippines—The island’s name means “gold mine” in Spanish, but it was nickel that was ultimately found in the mountains of Mindoro two decades ago.
Since then, like so many Philippine mining ventures, the proposed Mindoro Nickel project roughly 100 miles south of Manila has struggled to break ground because of onerous red tape and opposi