Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (PNE) on Tuesday found the first year of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. lacking climate and environmental actions.
“It is increasingly obvious that Marcos Jr. and his administration have simply continued the ecologically-disastrous legacies of previous administrations,” said Jon Bonifacio, national coordinator of the group.
The group claimed the country’s environmental situation has gotten worst because of the Marcos administration’s “business-as-usual, foreign-dominated, and export-oriented economic mode.”
“Marcos Jr. has pledged the expansion of the mining industry in the country, paying little heed to the concerns of communities and environmental groups,” said Bonifacio in a statement.
Bonifacio cited the mining issue in Sibuyan Island in the central Philippines, which “reveals the backward nature of mining policies Marcos Jr. has committed himself to continue at all costs.”
Kalikasan PNE questioned why a permit had been reportedly granted to the mining company, which is still in the exploration stage of its operations.
Under the Philippine Mining Act of 1995, mineral ore export permits are only granted for the export of small amounts of minerals during the exploration stage for testing.
However, Altai Mining was reportedly permitted to ship 50,000 metric tons of nickel ore from Sibuyan, “an alarming amount of ore” according to the group.
The group also criticized the Marcos government’s response to mitigate the impacts of the oil spill in the Mindoro province, south of Manila.
“Fisherfolk in Mindoro Oriental have faced months of suffering ‘worse than the COVID-19 lockdown’ due to a blanket fishing ban and little to no [aid],” the group said.
Bonifacio said the government’s ”snail’s pace” action in Mindoro has left communities and critical ecosystems “vulnerable to future disasters”.
The group also criticized the Marcos administration for pushing “destructive projects,” including reclamation and mega-dam projects.
“In the face of our ecological crisis, we continue to call on other environmental and civil society groups to oppose the backward policies of the Marcos Jr. administration,” said Bonifacio.