The islands of the Philippines are known for their mineral resources, including deposits of gold, silver, copper and manganese; and small and medium-scale mining sites provide for the livelihoods of many living in the area. However, the government has eased restrictions on foreign-owned, larger-scale mining corporations to encourage operations in the country; and in 2010 one such corporation made claim to the ancestral lands of the Mansaka tribe. Davao del Norte Service Center for Women (DNSCW) joined together with other activists in the region to form the “Save Pantukan Alliance” to campaign against the entry and operation of the corporations on the Mansaka peoples’ lands. As a result, in April 2011 residents of Pantukan came under attack. A resident was murdered and the military detained several others, labeling them “rebel leaders.” Around this time, a women human right’s defender who played a key role in forming the alliance became a target in March when an unidentified man held her at gunpoint in her home; and residents received anonymous text messages in September that she would soon be killed. In response, previous grantee DNSCW requested funds to increase the security of the activist and her son so that she can continue her valuable work in the campaign.
The mission of DNSCW is to reduce the marginalization of women and children in the province and to raise the economic, social and political status of women through the development of women leaders and promote increased women’s participation in decision-making at all levels.