Fisherfolk backs Lopez’s termination of mining contracts
Manila, Philippines – Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Gina Lopez has earned the words of praise from the fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) over the recent cancellation of 75 mining permits under the contract of Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) operating mainly in the country’s major watersheds.
In a statement, Pamalakaya Chairperson Fernando Hicap said this will initially bring environmental and social justice to the struggling-people who have been resisting against large-scale mining operations for the protection and conservation of our environment and social rights of the people.
PAMALAKAYA said rural people particularly farmers and fisherfolk are always the front-line casualties of large-scale mining operations due to environmental and marine degradation inflicted by wanton mining activities.
“We must say well done, Secretary Lopez. Her firm stand against large-scale mining is highly notable. Large-scale mining activities always pose threat to the community, economic and social rights of the rural people through community displacement, livelihood destruction and environmental disasters,” Hicap said.
The fisherfolk group said the DENR’s anti-mining stance should be transformed into a total anti-mining policy because as soon as the existing mining law, the Mining Act of 1995 still exists, big-time mining corporations would still assert and justify their illegal takeover and plunder of our natural resources and minerals.
“We are always in support with Secretary Lopez as long as she will remain stiff and rigid on her anti-mining position and that the interests of the majority of the people will be put first over the interest of the handful mining corporate. We also call on Secretary Lopez to abrogate the Mining Act of 1995 because this law allows destructive mining activities at the expense of our fragile environment and the lives of the people,”
“Secretary Lopez should listen and unite with the Filipino people to pursue the permanent termination of all destructive mining activities in order to save the livelihood and environment from further destruction,” ended Hicap. ###