Framing Discourses and Mobilizing Towards Collective Action: Environmental Movements’ Resistance Against Extractive Industries in the Philippines

Mr Joseph Edward Alegado1

1Ateneo De Manila University School Of Government, , Philippines

Extractive industries continue to encroach on the Philippines’ natural resources, amplified by the “liberalization, deregulation and privatization” policy of the Ramos administration in the mid-90s, which subsequent administrations have continued. States have generally gravitated towards legally regulating extractive capital, bounded within national policy frameworks. This has resulted in the burgeoning of extractive capital accumulation, in turn jeopardizing human rights and the environment. Under these conditions, the political dynamics of various environmental movements – that have strong ties to the Philippine Left and are marked by the great split during the early 90’s – continue to play a significant role in mobilisation of the movement and take advantage of political opportunity structures to resist the extractive consensus. Drawing on interviews and using framing analysis, the paper examines the dynamics of the resistance of various movements against extractive industries in recent years in the Philippines. The paper specifically situates the pivotal role of national movements in balancing the local narratives of resistance from the ground vis-à-vis its links to the transnational frames of contention and global initiatives against extractive industries. Further, the paper argues that resistance and successful campaigns of movements against extractivism are neither achieved through top-down nor bottom-up approaches but by a strategic use of global and local counter-narratives and strategies.


Joseph Edward B. Alegado is a communications practitioner and an emerging development studies scholar in the Philippines. He has more than five years of solid work experience in global non-profit organizations like Oxfam and Break Free From Plastic Movement; in project management through AGOS and in corporate social responsibility through the Metrobank Foundation, Inc. He finished his Master of Arts in Development Studies Major in Agrarian, Food, and Environmental Studies in the ISS in 2016 after completing a Master of Public Management degree in the Ateneo de Manila University School of Government (ASoG) in 2014. He currently teaches post-graduate courses on Masters in Public Management in ASoG.


The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

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