12 Aug Mindanao Mining Groups: We follow the rules and do responsible mining
Pro-mining groups insisted that the Mindanao mining companies follow and do responsible mining. They are willing to talk with Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) with regards to this issue.
“The government should properly inform the public about mining and the right way of doing things that we have to value in mining of which some of our government officials, do not respect. They should have the willingness to listen to the order which might be significant to the people,” Engr. Alexis F. Baligod of the Mindanao Association of Mining Engineers (MAEM) Inc. said.
Last August 4 at Ateneo de Davao University, DENR secretary Regina Lopez, and President Rodrigo Duterte were there to attend the Mindanao Environment Summit.
Mining groups expected that they will also be invited to the said event. Baligod stated, “We are expecting that we as a technical man of mining should have been also invited but we were not invited. We want to show to them that big scale mining is a responsible mining.”
Jonathan Banez of Nationwide Development Corporation (Nadecor) said, “We think in our industry, we abide (by the law).” He cited based on the State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Rodrigo Duterte, saying, “he did not stop mining, but asked companies to conform to responsible mining”.
DENR should be fair in reviewing the mining permits of companies according to Baligod, as he spoke, “They should not have any bias because remember there are other groups who don’t like mining.”
Mining companies that do not abide the rules should be stopped, agreed Banez.
Banez agreed to review the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 if the Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU) president thinks that the law is fraud. Banez stated addressing the AdDu president, “It’s hard to tell him that he is wrong but I would agree with the review (Mining Act of 1995) to see if there is a problem because what we want is a really responsible operation of mine.”
Mining is the cause of poverty in the area, which Banez disagreed. He insisted that the taxes being directly given to the national office is the problem. As he spoke, “They would ask why the community did not get anything from mining, it’s because the money will go directly to the national treasury and when it gets back to the local, it’s gone already.”
70 percent of the mining tax should be given to the local government units, Banez suggested.