Document 17689929

I. Philippine Context in which Mining
Companies Operate
The Philippines is an archipelago made up of
thousands of small islands and densely populated
of 277 people per square kilometer.
Philippines Map
A magnet of investments in
one of the five top countries
in terms of attractive mineral
one of the 10 worst
policies in the world
319 mining agreements
already issued
2600 pending applications
for large-scale mining
II. Context for Corporate Impact on and
Responsibility for Human Rights
A. Environmental
Rich in biodiversity and host
of endemic species
Vast tracts of land declared
as protected areas and
ancestral domains
Mine tailing wastes pollution
contaminated 14 major river
Mudslides bury alive
inhabitants and villages
B. Cultural and Political Context
• Ancestral domains are the
fundamental source of life for
indigenous peoples. They are the
basis of their cultural and personal
integrity, dignity and unique identity.
• Traditional leadership patterns,
institutions and processes for
decision-making and participation
are still alive and valid in their
C. Economic Context
• Target areas for mining are
farmlands and fishing grounds
• Mining activities resulted to the
30%-90% decline in weekly income
Jobs created by mining activities
were only 0.4% of total employment
Revenues collected from mining
corporations are less than 1% of
total government revenues.
D. Legal Context
• The Philippine Constitution recognizes the rights of
indigenous peoples.
• The Indigenous Peoples Rights Act guarantees their
self-determination and self-governance. This also
requires their Free Prior and Informed Consent before
any activity takes place within their ancestral domains
• Also, ILO Convention 169 and UN Declaration on the
Rights of Indigenous Peoples require their Free, Prior
and Informed Consent (FPIC)
• These national and international mechanisms are
good BUT they are neither properly implemented by
State authorities nor are they properly observed by
• Large-scale Mining has severe impact
on the civil and political rights as well
as economic, social and cultural
rights of indigenous peoples
communities and it does not bring
about wealth and development to the
country as a whole either.
III. What can Due Diligence Process do to
Remedy and Prevent such Negative Effects
on Civil and Political Rights as well
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights?
The due diligence process is a good concept
but is not seen to be happening in mining
communities dominated by indigenous
peoples in the Philippines
To make the concept work, companies should
consider the following recommendations:
Companies need to understand thoroughly the diverse
cultures, traditions, beliefs, practices and aspirations of
indigenous peoples.
To do so, they need to exert more efforts to understand these
and allow more time for the communities to have more
consultations and build consensus from among themselves.
Companies need to consider the following norms and
practices of Indigenous Peoples on how they fit into the Due
Diligence Process:
The Indigenous Peoples Rights on Ancestral Domain,
Cultural Integrity and Right to Self-Determination
and Governance guided by Customary Laws. These
necessitate a series of dialogues and consultations
with the indigenous communities
Participation of the Indigenous peoples in the
decision-making processes should primarily be through
their indigenous socio-political structures.
Transparency and clarity in the conduct of free prior
and informed consent (FPIC) process can ensure
support from indigenous peoples. Language used
should be understandable by the community. If not,
conflicts will escalate.
Likewise, the companies shall be transparent of
their plans, projects, policies and contracts to the
The SRSG should take up these
recommendations in his next report in
operationalizing the due diligence principle
UN Member-States should legislate and
implement policies which ensure that home
and host companies observe due diligence
• If the UN wants to lead intellectually and
by setting expectations and aspirations to
close the governance gaps in business
and human rights, as John Ruggie
rightfully stated in his report of April 2008,
it should think of some mechanisms to
hold corporations accountable on an
international level where national means
have proven to be inefficient.