Mining in the Philippines

Good Essays
Topics: Human rights, Mining
Mining in the Philippines Concerns and conflicts

Report of a Fact-Finding Trip to the Philippines
July-August 2006

Acknowledgments The Fact Finding Mission wishes to thank all those who took time to meet with us. The right to enjoy human rights and development is universal. We wish to encourage any and all communities and local authorities adversely affected by mining impacts to continue to explore and pursue all avenues available within the law at local, national and international levels to register their concerns and aspirations and seek redress for wrongs. We offer our continued support to all parties in future efforts to realize a national path to sustainable development based on justice. Disclaimer The views expressed in this report are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the participating or supporting organizations. The authors have however done their best to reflect the views, of the many people they met in the Philippines and the views of the people and organizations who have commented on the report.

Copyright Columban Fathers 2007

First Published 2007 by Society of St. Columban, Widney Manor Rd., Knowle, Solihull B93 9AB, West Midlands, UK

ISBN number 1-902648-92-7

978-1-902648-92-7

Report written by Cathal Doyle, Clive Wicks and Frank Nally

Edited by Mara Stankovitch, Geoff Nettleton and Andrew Whitmore

Table of Contents Foreword................................................................................................................................................................ i Acronyms and Abbreviations............................................................................................................................ ii Executive Summary ........................................................................................................................................... iii 1. 2. 3.



Links: report December 2004 p18 & 19 studies by the Asian Development Bank estimated that there are 300,000 small-scale miners. 108 The fact-finding team met small-scale miners who had been operating at Mt Canatuan before TVI displaced them. They said that the small-scale miners out numbered the total current TVI workforce at the mining site by at least two to one. This is supported by a case study carried out by Christian Aid and PIPlinks: Breaking Promises, Making Profits Mining in the Philippines, December 2004, p39. 109 The Benguet Corporations operation at Antamok Itogon on the Ibaloi lands displaced small scale miners. It then switched its operations to large scale open bit mining reducing work forces from 6,000, many of whom were indigenous peoples, to 600. Extracting Promises Indigenous Peoples Extractive Industries & the World Bank Second Edition (Tebtebba 2005 Baguio City) p65 110 Little attention is given to small scale miners in the Philippines Mineral Action Plan. It provides large tax breaks for foreign firms while offering no benefits, other than the regulation of their activities, to small-scale miners. Many believe that this regulation would be used to limit their activity in favour of large mines. See ILO study of small-scale miners, Norman S. Jennings (ed) (2002) Small-scale gold mining: Examples from Bolivia, Philippines and Zimbabwe Industrial Activities Branch Working Paper, available at http://www.ilo.org/public/english/dialogue/sector/papers/goldmine/130e2.htm 111 The FFT met with a small-scale miner wounded when shot at during protest against TVI. The private armed security force known as the Special CAFGU Armed Auxiliary (SCAA) enforced a food and economic blockade against the small scale miners in 1997. See Antonio A. Tujan Jr. Rosario Bella Guzman Globalizing Philippine Mining IBON Foundation Inc. Databank and Research Centre 2002 (IBON Books Manila) p149, quoting Manila Times, 28 May 1997. 112 http://www.news.ops.gov.ph/inaugural_speech2004.htm 113 The Death of Life: The Horror of Extinction Sean MacDonagh SSC (Columba Press Dublin, 2005), p21 highlights that despite the astronomical profits from mining only a few elite families benefited from logging in the Philippines. Also interview with Sean MacDonagh, 31/07/06 Manila Philippines. 114 United Nations Conference on Trade and Development 2005 Economic Development in Africa Rethinking the Role of Foreign Direct Investment www.unctad.org/en/docs/gdsafrica20051_en.pdf 115 Including Striking a Better Balance, Final report of the Extractive Industries Review, World Bank, Washington 2003 116 ibid, Striking a Better Balance 117 Academic reviews of the Philippines’ environmental protections have suggested that perhaps the time has come to split the DENR functions. See A Khee-Jin Tan, All that Glitters: Foreign Investment in Mining Trumps the Environment in the Philippines, 23 Pace Environmental Law Review p206. 118 Exploration, as defined below, that can continue up to eight years, clearly has potential environmental and social impacts. According to Republic Act No. 7942 [An Act Instituting A New System Of Mineral Resources Exploration, Development, Utilization, And Conservation], Section 3q: ‘Exploration means the searching or prospecting for mineral 99 98 61 resources by geological, geochemical or geophysical surveys, remote sensing, test pitting, trenching, drilling, shaft sinking, tunneling or any other means for the purpose of determining the existence, extent, quantity and quality thereof and the feasibility of mining them for profit.’ 119 As of August 2006 inadequate information was available at the Securities and Exchange Commission to determine which corporations are behind Geotechniques. 120 Following an agreement between the small-scale miner, Ramon Bosque, and the Benguet Corp, a Philippine mining company. The president of Benguet Corp, Benjamin Romualdez, is currently the President of the Chamber of Mines. 121 For photos of the scared mountain before and after TVI’s arrival, see Appendix 7, see also http://www.dcmiphil.org/photogallery.htm. 122 A Tebtebba case study documents the history of the Subanon people in the region of the Seven Rivers on the Zamboanga peninsula. Penelope C Sanz How to get a MOA without even trying? The Subanon of Canatuan experience Draft version on file with the fact-finding team. 123 Hearings were held by the Canadian Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade see http://www.piplinks.org/development_issues/articles/success.htm 124 http://www.piplinks.org/development_issues/articles/sep_29_2005.htm 125 Protests of the Subanon people are documented and are available at http://www.dcmiphil.org/documents.htm 126 Rapu-Rapu Finding and Recommendations of the Fact-Finding Commission on the Mining Operations in Rapu-Rapu Island 19th May 2006 Summary Report pg 8 127 For a descriptions of the biological diversity of the Sibuyan Island see http://www.fieldmuseum.org/vanishing_treasures/Discover_4.htm and Herbarium Digital Library http://www.pnh.com.ph/category/5-Critical-Plant-Sites/14-Sibuyan-Island-page-1.html. 128 http://www.infomine.com/countries/philippines.asp 129 http://clearblogs.com/SAM/page2/&thisy=&thism=&thisd= 130 World Wildlife Fund, Payments for Environmental Services, An Equitable Approach for Reducing Poverty and Conserving Nature, June 2006, pp14, 20, 35, 69. A Philippines National Conference-Workshop on Payments for Environmental Services: Developing Incentives for Conservation and Poverty Alleviation, 1-2 March 2005, addressed present PESs in the Philippines, drawing on lessons in developing direct incentives and payment mechanisms for conservation and poverty reduction. Issues related to mining arose, such as conflicting land claims of mining companies and indigenous peoples, competing water use, conflicting water and land rights. 131 La Bugal-B’laan Tribal Ass’n v. Ramos G.R. No. 127882. December 1, 2004 132 ibid 133 http://www.supremecourt.gov.ph/speech/twin.pdf#search=%22BugalB%E2%80%99laan%20Tribal%20Association%20v.%20Ramos%22 134 Constitution of the Philippines Article II Section 16. The State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature. 135 Philippines Supreme Court case, Minors Oposa v. Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), 33 I.L.M 173 (1994). The case sought to halt the granting of timber licences by the government. 136 Congressional hearing have been held with regard to TVI’s operations in Mt Canatuan and an injunction was sought against Lafayette’s operations in Rapu-Rapu. 137 For example conflicts of use arise between easement rights given by the Mining Act section 75 and Water Acts. 138 See Environmental Justice case study, Marcopper in the Philippines http://www.umich.edu/~snre492/Jones/marcopper.htm. 139 Marinduque government includes Barrick Gold as defendant in Nevada case, Press Release June 21, 2006 see http://www.jatam.org/english/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=75&PHPSESSID=1fb645bd671 0164a978444ac92b8dca9 see Mining Ombudsman Case updates 2005 Oxfam Australia August 2006 available at http://www.oxfam.org.au/campaigns/mining/ombudsman/2005/case_updates.pdf page 13 140 BizNews Asia Vol 3 No 36 October 5-12 2005 p 32 141 Miners behaving badly abroad by: Techa Beaumont 18th August 2006 www.newmatilda.com available at http://www.newmatilda.com/policytoolkit/policydetail.asp?PolicyID=478 142 See Miners say GMA fails to live up to vows, cancel int 'l meet by Ayen Infante, Tribune 12th September available at http://www.tribune.net.ph/20060912/business/20060912bus2.html also available at http://www.minesandcommunities.org/Action/press1215.htm See also ‘Manila review hits miners’ The Standard,Chinese Business Newspaper 21 September 2006 available at http://www.thestandard.com.hk/news_detail.asp?pp_cat=22&art_id=27731&sid=10019223&con_type=1 143 Following a consistent rise, share prices in the month of April 2006 reached $1.50, as of the 19th of August 2006 share prices had fallen to $0.76 see http://www.asx.com.au/asx/research/CompanyInfoSearchResults.jsp?searchBy=asxCode&allinfo=on&asxCode=LAF 144 http://www.dcmiphil.org/Allan_Laird%27s_Statement.pdf. Reports showing payments to the Abu Sayyaf were provided to the FBI in June 1994. 62 “Not only have the oil, gas and mining industries not helped the poorest people in developing countries, they have often made them worse off. Scores of recent academic studies and many of the bank 's own studies confirmed our findings that countries which rely primarily on extractive industries tend to have higher levels of poverty, child morbidity and mortality, civil war, corruption and totalitarianism than those with more diversified economies. Does this mean extractive industries can never play a positive role in a nation 's economy? No, it simply means that the only evidence of such a positive role we could find took place after a country 's democratic governance had developed to such a degree that the poorest could see some of the benefits…”. Dr Emil Salim, World Bank Extractive Industries Review 2004 (EIR). UK Financial Times on 16 June 2004. “…. We must therefore encourage and support the 'ecological conversion ' which in recent decades has made humanity more sensitive to the catastrophe to which it has been heading. Man is no longer the Creator 's 'steward ', but an autonomous despot, who is finally beginning to understand that he must stop at the edge of the abyss". Pope John Paul II 17 January 2001 “[We] support the call of various sectors, especially the Indigenous Peoples, to stop the 24 Priority Mining Projects of the government, and the closure of largescale mining projects, for example, the Rapu-Rapu Polymetallic Project in Albay, HPP Project in Palawan, Didipio Gold-Copper Project in Nueva Vizcaya, Tampakan Copper-Gold Project in South Cotabato, Canatuan Gold Project in Zamboanga del Norte, and the San Antonio Copper Project in Marinduque, among others; [we] support the conduct of studies on the evil effects of mining in dioceses; [we] support all economic activities that are life-enhancing and poverty-alleviating.” (CBCP Pastoral, January 29, 2006) “What does it gain a nation to be short-sighted and merely think of money when an irreparable damage to the environment will cost human lives, health, and livelihood capacity of our farmers and fisherfolks endangering the food security of our people.” Then Secretary of the DENR Heherson Alvares. Philippine Star, November 13, 2001 Photos of the fact-finding trip can be found on: http://philippinesfactfinding.blogspot.com/ Front cover: Timbaboy, Midsalip, Zamboanga del Sur, Mindanao. Ricefields thrive in rich irrigated volcanic soils in the Mt Pinukis range of mountains, held sacred by the Subaanen People. They are now threatened by mining. 63

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