OceanaGold's 25-year Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) for the Didipio mine expired on June 20, 2019, but the company has defied restraining orders by the Provincial Government.
OceanaGold claims it can continue operating as it has successfully railroaded the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and its Mines and Geosciences Bureau’s (MGB) endorsements of its FTAA renewal application to the Office of the President.
President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature is now the only thing left for OceanaGold to be able to continue plundering Vizcaya’s mineralized lands for another 25 years.
Various investigations, complaints, and local government resolutions have exposed that OceanaGold’s environmental and social violations are legion, including the following:
- A 2017 community health diagnosis by the IBON Foundation found that 80% of Barangay Didipio, the mine’s host village, have complained of clean water access problems amid OceanaGold’s depletion and pollution of rivers
- A 2018 investigative report by the Institute for Policy Studies and MiningWatch Canada revealed that OceanaGold figured in 10 violations of national laws and FTAA contract provisions relating to environmental, land, labour, and indigenous people’s rights
- A 2019 communication by 9 United Nations Special Rapporteurs to the Duterte government raised questions on OceanaGold’s history of civil-political, socio-economic, and environmental rights violations, including violent demolitions, illegal arrests, and the forced displacement of communities, to which the Duterte government has not yet responded
See more reference documents in our google drive repository here: https://tinyurl.com/OceanagoldDocs
The stoppage of Oceanagold’s big mine is urgent, as it threatens Nueva Vizcaya’s landscapes that form an important biodiversity corridor, watershed haven, and agro-forestry hub:
- At least 499 species of flora and fauna, of which 110 are endemic to the Philippines, can be found in the forests where OceanaGold is operating
- 97% of Vizcaya’s land area is part of the Magat River Forest Reserve, and its headwaters supply water to 7 downstream hydro power projects and numerous water districts and irrigation systems.
- The mine’s host town of Kasibu is known as the citrus capital of the Philippines and the province has been recently recognized as a 2018 National Rice Achiever by the Department of Agriculture.
We thus call on the international community to support the Vizcaya people’s blockade in defense of land, life, and environment through the actions below.
Should you be interested to coordinate, or if you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE), the national grassroots alliance supporting the barricade, through our international networks coordinator Mr. Clemente Bautista ([email protected], +63 2 356 2166, +63 917 137 2930).
TAKE ACTION NOW