Chamber of Mines takes part in Mining Act debateBy Christine O. Avendaño
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Supreme Court has allowed the Chamber of Mines to take part in the oral arguments concerning the Mining Act.
At Tuesday’s full court meeting, the high court admitted the mining industry association as an intervenor in the anti-Mining Act petitions, thus allowing it to participate in the proceedings.
The Chamber of Mines, which is represented by retired Chief Justice Reynato Puno and retired Associate Justice Vicente Mendoza, had petitioned the high court to dismiss the petitions seeking to declare some provisions of the Mining Act as unconstitutional.
Also on Tuesday, Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said the government was getting more revenues from remittances of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) than mining contracts.
At the resumption of the oral arguments against the two provisions of the Mining Act involving government’s share in mining revenues, Carpio took up the cudgels for the petitioners and agreed that the government’s share should be adjusted.
Petitioners led by former Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel had asked the high court to declare Sections 80 and 81 of Rep. Act No. 7492 as unconstitutional because of alleged inequitable sharing of wealth from mining activities.
The government currently gets only a 2 percent excise tax and 5 percent royalty from mining revenues.
Arguments on the anti-Mining Act petitions will resume on July 16.