Bukluran para sa Inang Kalikasan (BUKAL)-Batangas


The Bukluran para sa Inang Kalikasan Batangas (BUKAL Batangas) was formed in the midst of rallying cry of different sectors in September 2008, pledging to protect the province of Batangas against large-scale and destructive mining projects.

From a supposed multi-sectoral consultation, BUKAL Batangas became a network which leads environmental campaigns, education and actions against large scale mining projects and for the conservation and protection of the natural resources, ecology and communities in the province of Batangas. The network is comprised of organizations and individuals from various sectors such as the church, academe, scientists, fisherfolks, peasants, youth and environmental advocates.

The network achieved its first victory by stopping the large scale mining of Asturias Mining Company and Mindoro Resource Limited (MRL) in various municipalities of Batangas. But despite the victory, the province is still being targeted as a mineral resource for other local and foreign mining companies.

Bukal Batangas, together with the Archdiocese Ministry for the Environment, is currently conducting dialogues, protest actions, massive education and signature campaigns to halt the forthcoming entry of the Egerton Philippines Mining Project in Lobo, Batangas. Brought by the continued resistance of the communities against the said mining project, the Municipal Council of Lobo immediately dismissed its first decision, giving permission to Egerton Philippines to operate and replaced it insteads with a resolution declaring the town as an Ecotourism and Agricultural Area.

The network is also leading a national campaign calling the national government to declare the Verde Island Passage,known as the Center of the Center of Global Marine Biodiversity, located near the provinces of Batangas Mindoro and Palawan, as a Protected Biodiversity Area and a No Mining Zone.

Since 2011, BUKAL Batangas has also been initiating dialogues with the City Council of Batangas City to build an Environmental Code, restricting the entry of environmentally destructive projects in the city. Many of their campaigns gained ground not only in province of Batangas but are also amplified in the national level, giving inspiration to other local organizations and communities defending their own environment and rights.

Being active on campaigns involving protest actions and resistance against development aggression, leaders and members of BUKAL Batangas continue to face harassments and surveillance from state military and police forces. Communities where they are engaged in organizing are also being militarized both by state and private forces. But despite all these, more than seven years after its establishment, the institution still continue to stop any form of destructive projects trying to enter the province of Batangas through various forms including the campaign for the passage in the Provincial Council of the 25-year moratorium against large scale mining in Batangas.