INDEPENDENT Senatorial candidate Walden Bello is gunning for a mining moratorium.

Bello in a visit to the Baguio City said mining should benefit Indigenous communities making them empowered and in control.

The former Akbayan party-list representative said communities must reap the rewards mining has to offer and not continue to make large corporations benefit.

Bello aid if this is not happening, a mining moratorium should be implemented and advocated to revisit the Alternative Minerals Management Bill filed in 2010.

The Alternative Minerals Management Bill or the AMMB seeks to scrap the present Mining Act of 1995 (RA 7942) with the enactment of the “Philippine Mineral Resources Act of 2010”.

The bill will push for conservation of non-renewable mineral resources for the benefit of both present and future generations of Filipinos by adopting a sustainable, rational, needs-based minerals management geared towards effective utilization of mineral resources for an ecologically-sound national and modernization of agriculture.

House Bill (HB) 206 was filed by 3rd District of Quezon Province Representative and House Deputy Speaker Lorenzo “Erin” Tanada III earlier in 2010 and in December 2010 House Bill 3763 was filed by Akbayan Representatives Kaka Bag-ao and Walden Bello, Ifugao Rep. Teddy Brawner Baguilat, Cagayan de Oro 2nd District Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, Rep. Maximo Rodriguez, Nueva Vizcaya Rep. Carlos Padilla and Paranaque Rep. Roilo Golez.

Also, in March 2011, seven representatives led by Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casino filed a similar, House Bill 4315 in the lower house.

Bello said the current Executive Order 79 issued by the President is riddled with loopholes which mars its implementation under Executive Order (EO) 79, any proposal on revenue will have to pass through legislation; the taxes would be imposed in lieu of all national and local taxes, except real property tax, value-added tax, capital gains tax, stock transaction tax, documentary stamp tax, Securities and Exchange Commission fee, donor’s tax, environmental fee, water usage fee, and administration and judicial costs.

The EO also gives way to Minahang Bayan areas which give small scale miner a place to do business and veer away from makeshift tunnels which is both illegal and dangerous.

National Economic and Development Authority reports show the mining industry in the Cordillera employs over 17,000 workers, with over 7,000 in large-scale mines while the majority of 10,000 are working in small scale mines.