Guv: Nothing’s wrong with mining policy-A A +A
Monday, August 6, 2012
BENGUET Governor Nestor Fongwan said pocket miners have nothing to worry about the new Executive Order (EO) 79 issued by the President Benigno Aquino III, as there’s nothing wrong with it.
He said miners should not worry too much on the EO because its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) is still being drafted.
He said that with this IRR, they could provide inputs from the miners for the consideration of the drafters.
Fongwan also said that he will soon talk to the Benguet Federation of Small Scale Miners (BFSSM) Inc. to discuss the different inputs miners wanted to include in the IRR. He will also listen to clamors of the pocket miners on EO 79.
The President issued the order institutionalizing and implementing reforms in the Philippine mining sector providing policies and guidelines to ensure environmental protection and responsible mining in the utilization of mineral resources which imposes higher tax to be collected from the pocket miners, among other issues.
The EO posted immediate effects on pocket miners, prompting them to voice their protest.
Some miners claimed the order is not fair.
BFSSM president Engineer Lumino Kaniteng said almost half of the population of Benguet is affected by the policy, adding they welcome the executive but it could take away jobs of the different pocket miners in the provinces.
He said it will affect not only Benguet but also some provinces nearby and other places in the country because most of the miners are migrant workers.
The issuance of mining contract is now under the Philippine Mining Regulatory Board control and not under the provincial governor anymore, he added.
He also said that with the new policy, the power of the governor is stripped off.
The president of the BFSSM also saw the Environmental Compliance Certificate today for mining as vague. He also lamented the increase of taxes to be imposed because of EO 79.
Kaniteng said the increase of taxes will worsen the poverty situation of the pocket miners, adding the declaration of a Minahang Bayan is not clear. “These are the issues which directly affect and confuse the miners.”
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 07, 2012.