Months after the pandemic struck, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said the Government of the Philippines would pursue mining as an economic recovery strategy for the country. It has delivered on this promise with the issuance of Executive Order No. 130 (E.O. 130), which lifts the moratorium on new mineral agreements. The moratorium was put in place by EO 79, passed during the administration of former president Benigno Aquino III.
The legal anchor of EO 130 is Republic Act 7942, or the 1995 Mining Act. But, in fact, this law has proven to be inadequate in many respects. For one, its penalties for environmental violations are a mere slap on the wrist of mining companies, failing to deter them. Under this law, critical environmental areas have been opened up to mining, prioritizing profit over a healthful ecology. Read LRC’s full statement here.
Advocacy Coordinator, Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center (LRC)