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Mining industry in for reforms this year

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Mining industry in for reforms this year

/ 12:42 AM January 10, 2012

The local governments units’ open pit mining ban ordinances and other issues plaguing the mining industry will be addressed this year, officials said.

The Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) said it was optimistic that the so-called minerals policy group drafting the country’s mining policy would recommend the continued promotion of “responsible” mining as allowed under the Philippine Mining Act of 1995.

“We are hopeful that the government will consider our recommendations aimed at ensuring the stability of the business environment to enable the industry to further assist in the President’s programs of attracting investments that will generate direct and indirect employment and thereby reduce poverty particularly in the countryside where most of our poor countrymen live,” COMP spokesman Rocky Dimaculangan said.

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COMP recommendations include: Plugging the tax leakages in the mining industry; allowing the industry to pay directly to the LGUs their shares in mining taxes; decisive action on ordinances banning open pit mining; amending R.A. 7076 to expressly repeal P.D. 1899 (which covers government small-scale mining); cleansing of Certificate of Ancestral Domain Titles and Certificate of Ancestral Land Titles, setting a deadline for delineation of ancestral domains/lands and recognition of indigenous peoples; and adopting the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative.

Mines and Geosciences Bureau Director Leo L. Jasareno said in a separate e-mail that reforms would be based on recommendations of the group created to study the nagging issues in the mining industry.

The mining policy group will formulate the mining industry policy of the administration “before the end of the year,” Jasareno said.

Specifically, the group is tasked to address issues such as lack of baseline industry data, policy inconsistencies between national and local laws, governance and law enforcement, lack of total economic valuation for the mining industry, increasing government share in mining revenues, and the adverse effects of environmental degradation and climate change.

The group will also provide “a clear and detailed assessment” of the state of the mining industry, its impacts, effects and potential for the future; and consult with concerned stakeholders such as the mining industry, nongovernment and civil society organizations, and environmental groups, among others.

The study group is composed of Environment Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje, Presidential Adviser on Environmental Protection Nereus Acosta, Presidential Assistant on Climate Change Elisea Gozun, and Climate Change Commission vice chairperson Lucille Sering.

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TAGS: ban, Mining and quarrying, mining industry, open pit mining, Philippines, reforms
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