The debate on mining continues to dominate the Philippine media. There has been a ‘flurry’ of activities to coincide with the anniversary of the Philippine Mining Act, which has also collided with the on-going lobbying of the President over the much heralded, and now much delayed, Executive Order on mining.
These activities include a number of conferences which have produced statements, as well as a number of demonstrations. The conferences were organised by different Churches, and their support groups, as well as different political groupings. The Catholic Church has once again been particularly strident in declaring the link between mining and poverty.
There was also a national debate between so called ‘pro’ and ‘anti’ mining advocates, which led to a great deal of simplified coverage, but also picked up on the theme of mining and poverty. It is this worry that is at the heart of much indigenous opposition to specific projects. Local B’laan leaders talk of the harassment brought upon them by their opposition to Xstrata’s Tampakan project.