AFEW days ago, some miners were so happy. The Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) decided to recommend the lifting of the ban on open-pit mine in the country. However, the miners are also government wi l suspend the granting hoping that the government will of new mineral agreements until move to finally resolve the issues existing mining laws are amended. surrounding Executive Order 79 These amendments allow for the (EO 79) which bans the entry of new rationalization of existing revenue- mining projects. and- benefit- sharing schemes and For us to fully understand the incentives given to mining companies issue, let us discuss the features and to ensure that the country benefits purpose of the said EO. from the rich mineral resources in The EO sets the policy framework its territory. that guides government and other The effect of these revenues will stakeholders in the implementation be maintained since the EO allows and operationalization of mining existing mines and operations to laws, rules and regulations. It also continue. These existing mining provides concrete steps and solutions operations, prior to the effectivity of to major issues and concerns of the the EO, will not be affected provided mining sector. they comply with existing laws and
It sets the direction and lays the mining policies. foundation for the implementation of This has a great affect to the responsible mining policies. government because it will have
Lastly, i t aims to i mprove additional revenues for funding environmental mining standards various social services, education and increase revenues to promote and health. Most of all, it will lessen sustainable economic development the impact of mining on the health and social growth, both at the of the people as well as on the national and local levels. environment.
The said EO a lows the continuance Actually, the EO has many benefits of existing mining operations, but the especially for the miners as provided It under Sections 5 to 8.
Regarding the concern of the miners on the ban of open-pit mining, I believe it could wait. It will take a year or less to improve the regulation regarding it and to discuss on how the produced revenues may be shared.
No need to fuss too much over the 1987 Philippine Constitution; it gives the state the duty to explore, develop, and utilize the country’s mineral resources.
*** ( Atty. Ayin Dream D. Aplasca practices her profession in Iloilo City.
com/ PN) She may be reached thru ayindream. aplasca@gmail.