Report on the Philippine National Conference on Mining

Catalino L. Corpuz Jr.


In March 2002, during a national workshop on the "Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) and Development" held in Cagayan de Oro City,Philippines, participants from mining communities were consulted on the idea of holding a national conference on mining. Their support to convene such a conference was overwhelming. Spearheaded by Minewatch Asia Pacific Tebtebba Foundation, an Organizing Committee was subsequently formed to prepare and organize the conference. The Organizing Committee was composed of representatives from different networks active in the mining campaign: Tebtebba Foundation, The New Patriotic Movement (BAYAN) , Legal Rights and Natural Resource Center (LRNRC) , Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA), DIOPIM Committee on Mining Initiative (DCMI), KALIKASAN and Center for Environmental
Concerns (CEC).

With support from the Third World Network (TWN), the Philippine
Indigenous Peoples Links (PIPLINKS) and Mineral Policy Center (MPC), the National Conference on Mining was held last May 6-8, 2002 in Baguio City. Approximately 130 participants attended the conference, representing about 70 local community people's organizations, and regional, national and international support groups. Setting aside political and ideological differences, members of different networks came together, making the conference a broad gathering of people commonly working on the issue of mining. In addition, aside from representatives from the church sector, there was a substantial participation of local government officials who actively campaigned in opposing the entry of mining in their
respective localities.

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