Anti-mining group stages protest at mining conference

Posted at 09/18/2012 5:15 PM | Updated as of 09/18/2012 11:36 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Anti-mining group Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) staged a picket in front of the Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Pasay City on Tuesday morning in protest of the International Mining Conference organized by the Chamber Of Mines of the Philippines.

ATM rued the response of Malacañang on the mining issue as inadequate, claiming that Executive Order 79 will not make significant changes to current "destructive and unfair" mining practices.

Gerry Arances, program officer of the Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center, said the problem is the Mining Act of 1995 itself, and called for an overhaul of the law.

"Kailangan tignan ang mina sa pangkabuuan, hindi lang isang bagay na mapagkakakitaan. Andiyan ang environmental protection at protection ng mga communities sa paligid ng mga mina. Hindi dapat lumalabas ang mina ng bansa ng walang kapararakan, kundi dapat itong magsilbi sa Pilipinas para sa kaunlaran nito," Arances said.

The group plans to march to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Wednesday, Mendiola bridge on Thursday, and the Commission on Human Rights on Friday to continue their series of protests.