AGHAM-Advocates of Science and Technology for the People decries President Duterte’s  renewal of the Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) with OceanaGold Corporation. This came after a statement was released by OceanaGold Corporation that the Philippine government has approved the FTAA renewal of the mining corporation that would allow additional twenty-five years of mining operation starting June 19, 2019.[1]

Despite the various oppositions from the communities hosting the mining operations, the regional government units and the civil society groups, the mining company has been very aggressive ensuring that there will be no hindrance in their new FTAA application. OceanaGold has left a massive environmental destruction that is greatly felt by local residents. The families in Didipio, Municipality of Kasibu, province of Nueva Vizcaya are now suffering the brunt of OceanaGold’s plunder of mineral ores since it started its operation in 2013. They were deprived of access to their land and, thereby, affecting their sources of livelihood derived from farming.[2]

The abuse of power is very apparent as OceanaGold continues to operate even after the FTAA expired last June 19, 2019. OceanaGold cited the opinion of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in the Application of the Administrative Code in Section 18, Chapter 3, Book VII states that OceanaGold was religious in its “timely and sufficient application for the renewal of its license. This has been used as the basis for allowing fuel tanks to enter the mining site despite an expired permit proving that they are still in active operation. [3]

In its twenty-five (25) years of  OceanaGold’s operation under the FTAA, scientists from AGHAM have seen the worsening situation of the communities. In 2015, AGHAM spearheaded an Environmental Investigation Mission (EIM) to study the environmental anomalies that were affecting the residents when the open-pit mine commenced its commercial operation. The field study revealed the dismal state of the community as the land and water that they have been using for their livelihood were already controlled by the company.

AGHAM, since 2014 has seen how OceanaGold Corporation has transformed the productive Didipio land into a barren one. Prior to mining, Brgy. Didipio has been teeming with citrus crops that contribute to agricultural productivity in the Municipality. [4]  

We are one with the Nueva Vizcaya Provincial Government opposition in the continuation of OceanGold’s mining plunder. The case of Oceana Gold mining is proof that leaving the mining industry in the hands of private companies would only do harm instead of benefits to the immediate host area and to the country. Learning from the lessons of OceanaGold and other large-scale operations must push for reforms and that includes the nationalization of the mining industry. We condemn and hold accountable the pro-corporate,  anti-environment Duterte government for allowing OceanaGold to continue to exploit our people and plunder our mineral resources. ###


[1] OceanaGold Corporation News dated July 14, 2021. Oceanagold Advises Didipio FTAA Renewal and Provides Operations Update.

[2] Business and Human Rights Resource Centre dated November 20, 2018. OceanaGold’s Response to allegations about Dipidio Gold and Copper Mine, Philippines.

[3 ] House Resolution No.833 Sponsored by Bayan Muna Partylist, Resolution Urging the Committee of Environment and Natural Resources to Investigate, in Aid of Legislation the Deployment of the Philippine National Police Officers to Violently Disperse the People’s Barricade and Faciliate the Entry of the Fuel Tanks for Oceana Gold’s Illegal Mining Corporation, dated May 6, 2020

[4] The Master Plan Study for Watershed Management in Upper Magat and Cagayan River Basin


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