WGMP presented the results of the survey in Tampakan by Dr. Robert Goodland and Mr. Clive Wicks some time In 2008.
The result of that study is in the book “Philippines: Mining or Food?” which was launched on 27 January 2009 at the Christ the King Spiritual Center, OLPH Seminary Compound, by Dr. Goodland and four members of his team.
Present during the launching were provincial and Tampakan LGUs, PEMO, MENRO, academe, NGOs, POs, media and the Dioceses of Marbel and Kidapawan. Around 60 participants.
On 26 January, the team met with some South Cotabato provincial officials: Vice Governor Ogena, SP Madanguit, SP Falcon, PPDO Supe, Provincial Development Council, Provincial Environmental Management Officer (PEMO) Ponce-de-Leon and their technical staffs.
Findings of the study: 1) deforestation and mining have contributed to the food crisis in the country; 2) given the country’s natural resources, current poverty level is unacceptable; 3) Mining increases environmental destruction and poverty. Beneficiaries of mining are limited; 4) indigenous people will bear the big losses!
a) to the Philippine government – 1) declare a moratorium on mining; 2) prioritize food security; 3) ensure that Department of Agriculture prevails over mining department (DENR-MGB); and 4) suspend conversion of agricultural lands to other uses.
b) To the Mining Companies – 1) follow best practices. “No double standards”; 2) enforce the “polluters pay” principle; 3) establish “no go-zones”.
c) to the development agencies – 1) continue to pressure the government to prioritize rice production; 2) urge the government to separate DENR’s conflicting functions on protection of the environment and promotion of mining; 3) ensure the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) is fully implemented; 4) finance restoration.
d) To the Mining – affected communities – 1) solidarity: make common cause with your allies, IP, forest managers, rice producers and offshore fisherfolks; 2) identify your advocates and stakeholders such as the NGOs, GOs, CSOs, Church, academe and media.
Dr. Goodland’s members: Fr. Frank Nally, SSC; Dr. Art Boquirren of UP-Baguio, Dave de Vera of PAFID and Terence Osorio of ATM. (Reported by the Diocesan Social Action Center).
Source: Communication from the Bishop (No. 518, February 06, 2009)