Anti-mining sentiment spreading, says gov’t execBy Riza T. Olchondra
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Anti-mining sentiment seems to be spreading in provinces across the country—a challenge that mining stakeholders will have to address, according to Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) director Leo L. Jasareno.
“Anti-mining sentiments are affecting the industry,” Jasareno said in a phone interview. “For instance, because of such sentiments, we are seeing resolutions and ordinances against mining being issued by an increasing number of local government units.”
The anti-mining sentiments in the country are being nourished by lack of information, propaganda by advocacy groups, politics, stakeholders’ perception that there is a lack of benefits from mining, malpractice by some mining groups, and legacy mines, Jasareno said.
Already, 14 LGUs have ordinances and resolutions against mining. These are Leyte, Romblon, Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Norte, Marinduque, Bukidnon, Capiz, Mindoro provinces, Antique, Bohol, Samar, South Cotabato, La Union and Negros Occidental.
At the same time, 8 areas may be declared mining-free provinces/cities based on resolutions being considered in Congress. These are Catanduanes, Sorsogon, Romblon, Southern Leyte, Eastern Samar, Nueva Viscaya, Cagayan de Oro and Davao City.
The government is working on a mining policy that is supposed to address the confusion and conflict in the minerals industry. The policy is supposed to come out on June 22, but it still has not been signed at press time.
Mining industry players are hoping that the government’s mining policy will come out soon. Its release, they said, would resolve many pending issues.
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