The Environmental Compliance Certificate and the Financial Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) issued to CAMC are conditioned on the local government consent requirement under sections 26 & 27 of Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code of the Philippines. Under the law, CAMC/APMI should have obtained the consent of the Barangay, Municipal and Provincial councils as precondition to their mining operation. Both the Barangay and Municipal councils have already registered their opposition to the Didipio gold and copper mining project. “Accordingly, the failure to fulfil the local government consent requirement has rendered invalid the ECC of CAMC/APMI and therefore, any mining operation that will be commenced in the area will be illegal”, said Atty. Mary Ann Dela Pena, Regional Lawyer LRC–KSK/Friends of the Earth–Philippines.
On August 8, 2005, the municipal council of Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines resolved NOT TO ENDORSE the Didipio Gold–Copper Mining Project of CAMC/APMI.
Despite demands to DENR and its attached agencies to enforce the Ministerial cancellation of the ECC, no response has been given. Hence, a Petition for Mandamus is being filed to compel the DENR to issue a cancellation of the subject ECC.
This case represents the right of local government units to determine their own development applicable within their boundaries to suit the specific circumstances of their local economic, social and environmental situations, while maintaining consistency with overall regional objectives of sustainable development. It also asserts the local government’s responsibility to prevent any projects which they deem to have potential social and environmental impacts from operating within the areas under their jurisdiction. “Large Scale Mining in the Philippines has never in its history proven to be a sustainable enterprise. In the past hundred years the country has been host to numerous mine spills and other environmental disasters not to mention the associated social ills mining brings to their host communities”, says J.P. Alipio, Luzon Campaigner LRC–KSK/Friends of the Earth–Philippines
“Caring for the Community — Environmentally Responsible” that’s the spin on Climax Mining’s web site. The Didipio community needs support from concerned Australians. Write to Climax and tell them how they can be a caring and responsible overseas enterprise by complying with the environmental protection laws of the Philippines and respecting the community’s desire to preserve their traditional way of life and keep development control in local hands.