Governors back mining EOPhilippine Daily Inquirer
The Executive Order (EO) on Mining is “good for all stakeholders” since it proposes to develop the Philippines’ mineral resources with emphasis on social acceptability and strong safeguards on environmental protection, the president of the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) said on Wednesday.
“The policy is clear. We can develop the mining industry hand in hand with efforts to protect and preserve the environment,” said Oriental Mindoro Governor Alfonso “Boy” Umali, national president of the LPP.
“All stakeholders stand to benefit from this policy direction,” he said, stressing the importance of social responsibility and acceptability in localities where mining activities are permitted.
In a press statement, Umali thanked President Benigno Aquino for introducing the reforms and said the local government units in pertinent areas would cooperate.
Umali cited provisions of the EO, which he described as “highly commendable.” Among them are Section 11 or the measures to improve and regulate small-scale mining activities and Section 12, or consistency of local ordinances with the Constitution and national laws.
Umali also hailed two other provisions, namely Section 13 creating a one-stop shop for mining applications and procedures, and Section 14 improving transparency of the mineral industry.
Among other things, the EO widened the areas banned from mining and set up a multistakeholder team that would review the performance of existing mining operations.
The EO created the Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC), whose members include the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines, which is the umbrella organization of the leagues of governors, city mayors, municipal mayors and barangay and other local officials. Umali is concurrent head of Ulap.
“The creation of the MICC is most welcome,” Umali said, adding that the council should include individuals with technical expertise and in-depth understanding of mining operations.