The organization of indigenous resistance to neoliberal extractive industry development in the Cordillera of the northern Philippines
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Over the past half-century, the Philippines has experienced great social changes as social movements have arisen in response to the national government's aggressive implementation of neoliberal development policies. The recent history of the Philippines features an illustrious culture of mass-based organization, as local populations protest national development strategies that promote rapid economic growth and integration into world markets at the expense of local social and environmental concerns. Specifically, an anti-large scale mining social movement in the Philippines has developed in reaction to the liberalization of the national mining industry with the Mining Act of 1995, which opened the country's rich mineral resources to 100 percent ownership by foreign corporations. Through the development of a protest movement against such neoliberal policies, local communities and their regional, national and international representative organizations have coalesced around the promotion of indigenous identity, stressing the environmental and economic rights guaranteed to indigenous peoples by the Indigenous Peoples' Rights Act of 1997. In promoting such rights, these agents strive to continue to develop local mining industries and profit from local lands and resources, which indigenous communities have practiced and exploited since time immemorial. Ultimately, the anti-large scale mining movement struggles to maintain an identity as a social movement protesting the globalization of natural resource exploitation, while promoting the rights of indigenous natural resource exploitation. The research focuses on Baguio City in Benguet Province of the Cordillera Administrative Region of the Northern Philippines and investigates the challenges of organizing social movements to bring local, indigenous concerns into the national and international development and environmentalist discourses.