[Philippines] Duterte urged to nationalize mining – by Thom F. Picana (The Manila Times – May 17, 2016)


BAGUIO CITY: Environmentalists and indigenous people in Northern Luzon are pushing presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte to nationalize the mining industry “that prioritizes people over profit.”

Amianan Salakniban (Defend The North), through spokesperson Igorot leader Fernando Mangili, said Duterte could also work for the junking of the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 that severely affected the environment and the people for over two decades.

Indigenous peoples in the North believe that, “Land is Life… Nobody can own what can outlive us,” hence, “it is our responsibility to the future generations that they can still breathe the same fresh air we breathe today.”

“Mr. President,” Mangili said, “the Filipino people believed that you will be the change that this country needs, please prove us right.” They are appealing to Duterte to make good his promise to address mining and environmental issues.

Duterte earlier said that he will only allow mining if environmental laws are strictly complied with. He said he believes that the government is not getting a fair share from mining revenues.

Amianan Salakniban claimed that for decades, communities in the regions of Ilocos, Cagayan Valley and Cordillera have been suffering from the ill effects of large-scale mining, citing inland open pit mining operations which have caused erosion, landslides, subsidence and the destruction of watershed areas, residential and agricultural lands.

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