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Big miners back Duterte
Shared/Posted: Jun 07, 2016 at 07:53am
Large-scale mining companies on Monday assured President-elect Rodrigo Duterte that they do not condone illegal and irresponsible mining.
Duterte on Saturday night warned big mining companies to stop destroying the environment, otherwise local investors would take over their concessions.
The Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) said its members had always opposed illegal and irresponsible mining.
“[W]e continue to find ways to strengthen our programs in social development and management to include indigenous peoples and environmental enhancement,” the COMP said in a statement.
The chamber reiterated its commitment to work with the incoming administration to help address concerns in the industry “so that we may promote true inclusive growth around the country.”
“With the good mayor soon taking on the highest mandate, the mining industry vows to work hand in hand with government to attain peace and order, economic stability and progress, and inclusive growth across the country,” it said.
At a thanksgiving party in Davao City on Saturday night, Duterte told mining companies that mostly dig up holes in Mindanao to “shape up” or Filipino mining workers would be organized into a cooperative with a clear instruction not to “spoil the land.”
“All the big mining companies who are destroying the environment, they have to stop,” he said, indicating that he would tap someone from the military to head the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and enforce his orders.
Duterte is regarded as an antimining local executive, having upheld last year a Davao City Council resolution that effectively legislated a ban on mining within city limits.
Considered the largest city in the country in terms of land area, Davao City occupies about 244,000 hectares, 68 times bigger than Manila, which is about 3,600 ha.
Duterte said in May last year that no mining company had dared enter Davao City in the past 20 years because of its antimining stance.
Citing figures from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, the COMP estimated the country’s metallic and nonmetallic mineral reserves at P73.47 trillion in November 2015.
A 2015 survey of mining companies by the Canadian think tank Fraser Institute showed that the Philippines ranked 89th out of 109 mining jurisdictions around the world in terms of policy environment.
Based on the survey’s Policy Perception Index (PPI), the country scored 41.48 points out of a possible 100, exiting the worst 10, which the Philippines was part of when it ranked 113th out of 122 jurisdictions in the 2014 survey.
Taylor Jackson and Kenneth P. Green, who penned a 90-page report on the survey results, described the PPI as a “report card” to governments on the attractiveness of their mining policies.
The index is composed of survey responses to policy factors that affect investment decisions, the survey said.
Such factors include uncertainty concerning the administration of current regulations, environmental regulations and regulatory duplication.
In 2012, the International Solidarity Mission on Mining (ISMM) reported that mining companies did not only extract natural resources, but “gravely exploited” Filipino workers given the very low wages and rampant contractualization in the industry.
Kindly refer to the origin of this news.
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