Philippine president signs long-awaited mining EO

Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - Philippine President Benigno Aquino III has signed the executive order (EO) detailing the government¿s much-awaited policy on mining, the Philippine Palace announced Saturday.

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. would release the EO on Monday.

He said Environment Secretary Ramon Paje would discuss the details of the mining policy before the media in a Palace briefing on that day.

¿The decision is so that there would be no qualms as regards this EO because many waited for this and this has long been anticipated by business, especially the mining industry and by environmentalists," Lacierda said at yesterday¿s Palace news briefing.

The revelation that President Aquino had signed the EO came two weeks after he was supposed to have signed it as he himself announced in an interview in Davao City.

Aquino had indicated a preference for increasing the government¿s share in the revenue from the mining industry.

The new mining policy is expected to increase government earnings from the lucrative industry which has seen a high demand for mineral resources. It is also expected to exclude more areas from mining to protect the environment.

The Philippine Palace had previously explained the delay in issuing the policy due to some fine-tuning that the president wanted.

¿We have been advised that there are minor revisions to be done," Undersecretary Abigail Valte had said in a Palace briefing more than two weeks ago.

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