Lawmaker seeks review of mining safety protocols

BENGUET. Miners supervise the underground operations of the Philex Mining Corporation in Padcal, Tuba, Benguet. Following a landslide in Yangon, Myanmar that killed 160 jade miners, Benguet caretaker Eric Go Yap seeks to review safety protocols in the mining industry. (Redjie Melvic Cawis)

A LAWMAKER is looking to review safety protocols in the mining industry following a landslide that killed 160 jade miners in Yangon, Myanmar last week.

Benguet caretaker Eric Go Yap said he will seek an inquiry into the safety standards of mines in the country, saying the Myanmar incident is an eye opener and hopes such mining accidents can be avoided.

"This is an eye-opener. It can happen anywhere and anytime. Ito yung gusto natin na maiwasan na mangyari sa Benguet, at sa ibang probinsya pa na problema rin ang mining. Hindi namimili ng panahon ang kalamidad o aksidente," said Yap.

Yap added the Yangon landslide is not an isolated incident in the mining industry as irresponsible mining tends to put its workers and communities at risk.

"Magfafile tayo ng inquiry para tiyakin na sumusunod sa ipinapatupad na regulations ang mining companies, partikular sa probinsya ng Benguet. Bukod sa sisilipin natin kung sustainable mining ang kanilang pinapractice, titignan rin natin kung may labor regulations silang nilalabag," the partylist lawmaker said.

Yap, who is also the ACT-CIS partylist representative, added that Benguet is very rich in natural resources and there should be proper way on how to harness them and think of long-term and prioritize how it can be sustained.

"This is not a matter of being pro- or anti-mining. Mining is not the problem itself, the real problem lies on the standards and regulations of mining activies and on the non-compliance of mining companies," Yap said.

"Benguet is home to many of our indigenous communities. It is our responsibility to protect our people and their land. Ating sisiguruhin na ligtas ang probinsya mula sa panganib na maaaring idulot ng iresponsableng pagmimina," he added. (SunStar Baguio)


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