Oppose Aquino regime's drive to further open up economy to foreign mining plunder--CPP

Information Bureau
Communist Party of the Philippines
September 14, 2011

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today called on the Filipino people and all revolutionary forces to step up and intensify their struggle to defend Philippine national patrimony and oppose the Aquino regime's efforts to further open up the local economy to allow foreign big monopoly capitalists to plunder local mineral resources and cause further destruction to the environment.

The CPP issued this statement as officials of the Aquino regime boasted yesterday that foreign investments in mining may double this year to $2.8 billion. These remarks were made by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau as the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines held the three-day Mining Philippines 2011 Conference and Exhibition. Foreign mining companies foresee further increases in mining investments as the Aquino regime pushes for easing the approval process of applications for mining operations.

The CPP said that the Aquino government "is no different from the Arroyo regime in terms of its blind servility to foreign big capitalist interests and complete disregard of the country's national patrimony and environment, the the lives and livelihoods of millions of peasants and the ancestral domain of minority peoples."

The CPP disputed claims by government officials that mining investments will help solve the persistent problem of unemployment and help economic growth. According to the CPP, a historical study of mining in the Philippines shows that mining has contributed an average of only 1.6% to the Gross Domestic Product.

“In the past three and a half decades,” said the CPP, “foreign mining companies siphoned out PHP1.5 trillion worth of Philippine mineral resources, including gold, nickel, copper, chromite and magnetite. In addition, they have been allowed to remit all of their profits to their home countries in accordance with mining laws including the Mining Act of 1995.”

"Foreign big capitalists pay only 5% in taxes, compared to their annual haul of mineral superprofits. Meantime, what the Philippines suffers in terms of the permanent loss of resources and the destruction and long-term damage to the environment and lives of the people is incalculable."

"Foreign mining operations in the Philippines do not contribute to the long-term development of the domestic economy. They do not go beyond mere extraction. Mineral resources are exported as inputs to the industrialization of foreign economies," pointed out the CPP, "while the Philippine economy continues to remain backward and pre-industrialized".

"Like previous governments, the Aquino regime claims that mining investments contribute to job generation. The reality is that the mining industry accounts for less than 1% of total employment. Even then, it only provides temporary employment. Workers are also made to labor under hazardous conditions for a pittance compared to the profits being pocketed by the big foreign capitalists," explained the CPP.

"The entry of mining operations is invariably accompanied by militarization and the suppression of democratic rights," said the CPP.

"The Filipino people are gravely insulted by the Aquino regime's intensified effort to invite and allow foreign mining companies to plunder the country's resources. Aquino completely disregards the clamor of the Filipino people to put a stop to foreign mining operations. Patriotic mass organizations, church institutions, local government units and various sectors have vigorously expressed their opposition to the liberalization of foreign mining operations in the Philippines."

The CPP called on the Filipino to intensify their effort to resist the entry and plunderous operations of foreign mining companies. "By uniting and rising up in militant mass struggles, the Filipino people can defeat the Aquino regime's plan to let foreign mining companies plunder the country and pocket superprofits."

The CPP reiterated the policy of the people's democratic government to ban all enterprises, including big foreign mining and logging firms, that engage in the large-scale plunder of natural resources, landgrabbing and the destruction of the environment. "The New People's Army (NPA) will continue to enforce this policy and carry out the necessary measures to support the people's clamor to expel foreign mining companies from their land."