Groups gather at Mendiola to protest mining

MANILA, Philippines – Environmental and militant groups gathered at Mendiola near Malacañang on Saturday to kick off an “intensified” campaign against mining in the country.

The Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment is calling for a moratorium on all mining applications of foreign companies.

“We call for a moratorium on applications and operations on all foreign, large-scale, magnetite and offshore mining transnational corporations. This must stand until we are able to put in place a pro-people, pro-environment mining law,” said Clemente Bautista, the group’s national coordinator.

Militant group Bayan, for its part, is urging the government to repeal the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 as the law marks its 17th anniversary today.

Saying the current mining policy is a “bankrupt economic policy,” Bayan said the government should pursue a nationalist and pro-people policy and that mining should be geared toward meeting people’s domestic needs rather than private profit margins and global market demands.

“It is time that we assert our national interest and sovereignty. It is time we put domestic needs and environmental protection at the forefront of profits. It is time we junk the Mining Act of 1995,” it said.

The protest comes after a big mining conference in Makati City on Friday where stakeholders presented their views about the impact of the industry on economy and environment.

For full article see source as cross-posted from here

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