Struggle endures for Philippine community pitted against gold miner
9 November 2021
Community leader Eduardo Ananayo says he wept when heard the Philippine government had renewed its mining agreement with Australian-Canadian company OceanaGold Corporation this past July.
“We felt betrayed by the government who we thought was there to protect us. Why did they side with the foreigners instead of us Indigenous people?” asks the Tuwali elder, who leads the Didipio Earth Savers Multi-Purpose Association (DESAMA), one of several organizations protesting the gold and copper mining operation.
OceanaGold holds a “financial or technical assistance agreement” (FTAA) issued by the Philippine government, which allows a wholly foreign-owned mining company to operate in the country. Its previous permit expired in 2019. The successful renewal, which came despite persistent opposition from both residents and the local government, allows the mining firm to continue operations until 2044.
OceanaGold did not grant Mongabay’s request for an interview, and instead directed Mongabay via email to visit its website “for more information.”