Welcome, everyone, to this live-streaming discussion where we delve into the pressing issues surrounding mining in the Philippines, particularly in the context of the green generation, Generation Z. As we navigate through the complexities of the mining industry, we’re met with a stark reality: almost three decades after the enactment of the Mining Act of 1995, promises of development from large-scale mining have fallen short. Instead, we’re confronted with grave environmental impacts and social injustices that far outweigh the meager benefits.

In this episode, as we commemorate the 29th Anniversary of the Mining Act, it’s imperative to reflect on the dire consequences of unchecked mining activities. From the tragic Marcopper mining disaster in Marinduque, perpetuated by impunity and evasion of justice, to the alarming rise in violence against environmental defenders, particularly indigenous leaders who courageously stand against destructive mining practices, the Philippines remains the deadliest place for environmental defenders in Asia.

Amidst these challenges, we’re witnessing a concerning trend: the resurgence of mining projects, fueled by the demand for transition minerals essential for renewable technology. However, this reentry into mining expansion is not without its controversies. We’re facing the specter of Charter Change, spearheaded by influential figures with vested interests in the extractive industry. This push for ChaCha threatens to further erode environmental protections and exploit natural resources for personal gain, perpetuating a cycle of power and plunder.

As we confront these existential threats, we stand in solidarity with the women’s movement during Women’s Month, amplifying their voices in advocating for food security and environmental justice. We continue to resist mining encroachments in Sites of Struggles like Sibuyan and Palawan, calling on authorities to prioritize the well-being of communities and the preservation of our precious ecosystems.

Throughout this discussion, we’ll explore alternative paths forward, highlighting the urgency of ending the tyranny of mining, prioritizing people and the planet over profit, and resisting the insidious grip of power-hungry interests. Together, let us embrace the rallying cry: “Pagkaswapang ng Minahan, Wakasan! Pagkamkam ng Kapangyarihan, Pigilan! Unahin Tao at Kalikasan, ChaCha Ibasura!” — putting an end to mining greed, halting the usurpation of power, and rejecting ChaCha in favor of genuine progress and environmental justice.