“Because they should not fuel conflict!”
This is the major call of the newly approved draft regulation of the European Parliament on the so called “conflict minerals”, said Fr. Edwin Gariguez, executive director of Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines-National Secretariat for Social Action (CBCP-NASSA).
“CSOs and mining affected communities in the Philippines are happy on the vote of the EU parliament that would mean stricter policy for European companies involved in manufacturing and importing components and final products that contain minerals such as tin, tungsten, tantalum, and gold.” Gariguez added.
On May 20, 2015, members of the EU parliament approved its proposed policy that would require companies to disclose or certify that they are not using minerals that fuels conflicts and human rights violation in Africa and other parts of the world.
Bishop Crispin B. Varquez of Borongan, Samar one of the bishops who signed the global petition to pass the said bill expressed that if put into law, the policy will contribute in the global efforts to stop harassment, human rights violation, and even militarization brought about mining in many communities like in the Philippines.
Yoly Esguerra, national coordinator of the Philippine Misereor Partnership Inc. (PMPI) is positive that the European Council will also approve the proposed bill. “Although the bill will still have to go through long negotiation process and discussion with European Commission and the Council, we think that the message of the bill is clear and viable for EU businesses — that is to be responsible in all the areas of their dealings or their supply chain.” Esguerra added.
PMPI is network of about 300 civil society organizations and church-based groups in the Philippines working on four thematic concerns such as peace, sustainable agriculture, climate change and the anti-mining campaign. (30)