Philippine president's new mining policy opposed

Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - At least 40 anti-mining governors would challenge before the Supreme Court the Aquino administration¿s mining policy upon its signing by Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, Albay Governor Joey Salceda said.

Salceda said local government executives would oppose the mining policy that was supposed to be signed by President Aquino on Friday but was placed on hold because it put them in an adversarial position to the national government. It would also dismiss their autonomy and independence in favor of national laws and regulations on the mining industry, Salceda said.

According to the Albay governor, a member of the ruling Liberal Party, the mining policy stresses that the national laws take primacy over local laws and ordinances. As such, the national government can override anti- or pro-mining laws set by local executives.

¿We consider that provocative. In other words, it¿s not conducive to a productive national conversation on the policy," Salceda said in a forum organised by the International Women¿s Media Forum recently.

¿It will breed inequality of income and assets, it will destroy the countryside. It¿s definitely anti-rural, that EO is anti-LGU," Salceda said.

He noted that at least 40 provinces have passed ordinances that restrict, regulate or oppose mining, especially metallic mining and large-scale mining. Albay currently has not been accepting mining applications, he said.

The executive order, Salceda said, could not invalidate their ordinances against mining. If the order was signed with this provision, local government executives would definitely go to the Supreme Court to strike it, he said.

¿Forty governors are opposing it," he noted.

¿An executive order does not destroy an ordinance, they have to bring it to the Supreme Court to do a short cut. That executive order will not make our ordinances disappear because they are articulation of democratic aspirations," he explained.

Salceda said Malaca?ang knew of their opposition to the mining policy. This could be the reason why the President has not signed it yet, he said.

The resistance from the local executives came at an awkward time for the administration. It needs as much support as it can muster from the local governments to keep its power in the provinces for the mid-term local elections in 2013.

Local governments distrust the national government and the mining companies because they have not felt the benefits brought by mining activities, Salceda said, adding that profit-sharing between the local and national branches are skewed to the latter.

His province, for instance, which hosts the Rapu-Rapu Polymetallic Project, only received 3.4 million pesos (US$80,300) from the mining company¿s revenues. The company¿s export value reached 7.7 billion pesos ($181.9 million).

¿It is a failure when it comes to inter-generational sharing of resources. The basic principle why you allow mining is because it is for everyone including the next generation. Therefore, you should be able to raise sufficient revenues so that future generations would benefit from it," said Salceda, a former member of the Arroyo economic team.

¿The revenues you raise could be invested in things that would benefit at least three generations after you, like roads, bridges, enterprise development. But you can¿t do that with 3.4 million pesos," he said.

Salceda said the mining industry¿s track record in the Philippines has been in tatters, with most of the provinces with big mines also being the poorest, he said. Previous mining companies have also failed to rehabilitate their abandoned mine sites.

Furthermore, mining operations, which are often militarised, breed tension in communities.

Salceda also called on Mines and Geosciences Bureau Director Leo Jasareno to resign from his post, saying Jasareno should regulate, not promote, mining activities.

President Aquino was supposed to sign the much-delayed and long-awaited executive order last Friday. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources, which was in charge of the order, initially planned it to be issued in early 2012. The original plan was to have a comprehensive mining policy that would spell out new regulatory and tax rules for the mining companies.

But last February, this plan was shelved. Instead, it was announced that Malaca?ang would only issue a policy statement that would lay out the administration¿s direction on the mining sector. It also did away with controversial provisions on the valuation of natural wealth and taxation, pending more legal studies on these matters.

COPYRIGHT: ASIA NEWS NETWORK

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • US renews travel warning to Mindanao
    US renews travel warning to Mindanao

    The US State Department renewed its warning about the risks of travel to the Philippines, in particular to the Sulu archipelago, certain regions and cities of Mindanao and the southern Sulu Sea area. In an update on Wednesday of a travel warning it issued Nov. 20, 2014, the State Department said US citizens should continue to defer non-essential travel to the Sulu archipelago due to the high threat of kidnapping of international travelers and violence linked to insurgency and terrorism there. …

  • Phl gains support for APEC Action Agenda
    Phl gains support for APEC Action Agenda

    The Philippine initiative to put the interests of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) front and center in global and regional trade has made significant progress following the conclusion on Thursday of the 2nd APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM2) and Related Meetings in Boracay, Aklan. Called “The Boracay Action Agenda to Globalize MSMEs,” the Philippine proposal calls for a host of specific, concrete and practical interventions that APEC economies can implement to provide MSMEs wider …

  • Phl to join Bangkok meet on Rohingya crisis next week
    Phl to join Bangkok meet on Rohingya crisis next week

    The Philippines will join a 15-nation meeting in Bangkok, Thailand next week to address the migration crisis involving thousands of Rohingyas who escaped persecution in Myanmar and Bangladesh. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima bared this yesterday after meeting with United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) representative to the Philippines Bernard Kerblat. In an interview, De Lima said the Philippine government has been invited to the meeting. …

  • Magnitude 4.2 quake jolts Sorsogon
    Magnitude 4.2 quake jolts Sorsogon

    LEGAZPI CITY—A magnitude 4.2 earthquake hit Prieto Diaz town in Sorsogon before dawn yesterday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said. …

  • Drought-resistant rice breeds bared
    Drought-resistant rice breeds bared

    SCIENCE CITY OF MUÑOZ, Nueva Ecija – Amid the searing heat, the Philippine Rice Research Institute central experiment station here has identified nine rice breeds which have been proven to be drought-resistant and produce high yields in temperatures as high as 38°C based on a recent study. Thelma Padolina, lead researcher of the study titled “Screening of rice-induced mutants for heat and drought tolerance,” identified the breeding lines as the Ballatinaw lines, PSB Rc72H and Azucena lines. …

  • Phl, US assert rights, ignore China warning
    Phl, US assert rights, ignore China warning

    The United States military will continue air and sea patrols in international waters even after the Chinese navy repeatedly warned a US surveillance plane to leave the airspace over artificial islands China is creating in the disputed South China Sea. The Philippine government also declared it would continue activities in the region, calling on China to respect freedom of navigation and aviation. “Our position on the importance of letting freedom of navigation, freedom of aviation and …

  • MM shutdown eyed for quake drill; 6 schools warned
    MM shutdown eyed for quake drill; 6 schools warned

    Electricity and mobile phone services would be cut throughout Metro Manila, and all private and government offices and businesses, including shopping malls, would be closed. That would be the situation on July 16 between 3 and 8 p.m. to simulate the scenario of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has warned that an earthquake of that magnitude could occur and kill at least 33,500 people and injure at least 113,600 others following a …

  • Subaru XV now priced among sedans
    Subaru XV now priced among sedans

    Motor Image Philipinas (MIP), the authorized distributor of Subaru in the country, has positioned its brand new crossover SUV, the Subaru XV, well within the sedan segment’s price range. This move, according to MIP, was made to give the public an opportunity to experience the brand’s unique automotive technologies by lowering its price. Buyers of […] The post Subaru XV now priced among sedans appeared first on Carmudi Philippines. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options