Latest Stories

Left not against mining, after all

Industry warns of disastrous cost of annulling 1995 law in high court


Senatorial candidate Teddy Casiño. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

BAGUIO CITY—The Left has finally come out: It has not been against mining, after all.

Bayan Muna Rep. Teodoro Casiño on Tuesday said opposition to the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 (Republic Act No. 7942) was all about developing a mining industry that benefits small communities and the environment, instead of multinationals that export raw minerals to feed a global demand. “Because that is how the law has shaped Philippine mining,” he said.

The mining industry, however, believes nullifying the mining law would come at a disastrous cost.

“Can you imagine the possible impact of canceling the FTAA [financial or technical assistance agreement] or MPSA [mineral production sharing agreement]?” said Tito Lopez, counsel of Australian mining firm OceanaGold that operates in Nueva Vizcaya.

“These foreign companies have already invested a lot in their explorations and actual operations and you will cancel their permits? Will that not discourage foreign investments?” Lopez said.

Lopez also disputed the petitions’ bid “for relief from the high court in pushing for an equitable sharing of revenues” by arguing that Malacañang and Congress have each initiated ways to address this issue.

The court had declared RA 7942 unconstitutional in January 2004 because, it said, the law allows companies with 100-percent foreign equity to exploit natural resources through the FTAAs. The court, however, reversed its position in December of the same year.

Since the court had already “flip-flopped” on the mining law issue, “let the Supreme Court flip-flop again for the people,” Casiño said.

But Lopez said it was precisely the 2004 ruling which should compel the court to dismiss the two petitions. “All these claims had already been raised and passed upon by the honorable court in the earlier cases, where rulings were already declared final,” he said.

According to Casiño, groups that are often at odds with each other, like party-list groups Bayan Muna and Akbayan and the Liberal Party, have united behind alternative mining bills that provide new business models for mining that seek a management program for minerals as a way to conserve nonrenewable resources.

He was referring to House Bill No. 4315 (An Act Re-Orienting the Philippine Mining Industry) and House Bill No. 3763 (Philippine Mineral Resources Act).

“When we speak of benefits, we don’t just refer to monetary revenues … Does it result in an industrialized economy? [RA 7942] is designed to address the needs of the world market. The world market is an unlimited market. We will consume all our resources without fulfilling the demand of the world market so a more reasonable approach is necessary,” Casiño said.

“Mining is a viable economic activity that we recognize because we are rich in natural resources. But [minerals] are a finite resource,” said Judy Pasimio, former executive director of the Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center, which sided with indigenous communities opposed to mining. She represents Lilak (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights).

They made these assertions at a news conference on behalf of a coalition of groups and people who petitioned the Supreme Court to declare the mining law unconstitutional.

Casiño was here to participate in oral arguments scheduled by the Supreme Court, sitting en banc, on regarding two challenges filed in 2008 against the mining law.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement , foreign investments , high court , Mining , Philippine Mining Act

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Gigi Reyes back to face charges
  2. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  3. In the know: Gigi Reyes
  4. SC suspends proctor in 2011 bar exams
  5. Senator Pimentel backs German think tank’s stand vs dynasties
  6. Bar proctor suspended for photographing test papers
  7. Collector Danny Garcia says Inquirer worth more than news
  8. Meteor shower to light up PH skies
  9. What Went Before: Enrile denies Gigi Reyes was ‘other woman’
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  7. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  10. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  8. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  9. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia


  • 2 teenagers killed in Mlang, North Cotabato
  • No sympathy from North Korea over ferry disaster
  • 4 French journalists freed from Syria captors home
  • De Lima on Gigi Reyes: Let’s wait and see
  • South Korean relatives divided over whether to raise ferry
  • Sports

  • Pacquiao courtesy call to Aquino set for Monday
  • Nick Calathes suspension a reminder of supplement risk
  • Teague scores 28 as Hawks soar past Pacers in Game 1
  • Warriors beat Clippers in playoff opener
  • Pacquiao top Mayweather contender
  • Lifestyle

  • Britain’s baby Prince George visits Australian zoo
  • Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  • Simplifying and lightening life
  • Where to go for Easter night-out
  • Joe de Venecia visits the Queen Mother of Cambodia
  • Entertainment

  • Show-biz celebrities’ other choices of summer getaway
  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Business

  • Top-selling insurance agent opens her dream café
  • Connecting and transacting with one another
  • Building wealth for health
  • Why Mandaue Foam buys, rather than rents, space
  • A workplace of new possibilities
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats
  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Filipinos in US poised for success
  • Visas for priests and other faith leaders
  • DOH to continue tracking co-passengers of OFW infected with MERS virus
  • Marketplace