Peoples Mining (H.B. 4315)

PressCon at Davao City on Mining Situation in the Region
Updated about 4 months ago · Taken at Davao City

Rep. Teddy Casiño (Bayan Muna Party-List) took up the cudgels for small-scale miners and called for wider public support for the passage of a People’s Mining Law at the small-scale miners summit at the UCCP Gym here today.“We cannot have a murky policy on the mining industry like Executive Order (E.O.) 79. We need a law that does not only consider government revenue shares. We need a Peoples Mining Law that takes into account the lives and livelihood of farmers, small-scale miners and lumads; food security and environmental preservation; and long-term industrial development instead of a myopic, double edged policy like the Aquino government’s Executive Order 79,” Casiño said.The progressive solon, main author of House Bill 4315 titled the Peoples Mining Bill, also said that E.O. 79 is mainly a rehash of the anti-people and pro-foreign mining policies, mainly the Mining Act of 1995 (R.A. 7492).“It is no wonder why only the big mining corporations and foreign investors welcomed E.O. 79. The policy only worsens the situation on the ground by, among others, undercutting local governments who want their areas to be mining-free and favoring the big foreign mining firms over local small-scale miners,” Casiño said.Currently, the more than 10,000 small-scale miners in the Davao Region are covered by the People’s Small-scale Mining Act of 1991 (R.A 7076).“But government support to small-scale mining, as shared to me by small-scale miners’ associations and environment groups led by Panalipdan-Southern Mindanao, have been miniscule, if there has been any over the last three decades,” Casiño said.“Our HB 4315 will repeal R.A. 7492, Presidential Decree 463, Presidential Decree 512, and all other pro-foreign mining issuances in the country. It will also strengthen our country’s local development needs focusing on food security, environmental preservation and our people’s right to develop our finite natural resources according to our needs – not the needs of China, Korea and other countries where the big mining corporations bring the extracted mineral wealth under the current laws. We will also mandate greater shares for the government (10 percent) and indigenous peoples royalty (10 percent) from the gross revenue from mining. It also respects and will aid small-scale miners on the long-term by integrating small-scale mining as an integral part of a National Industrialization Plan. These do not exist in E.O 79,” Casiño said.Among the co-authors of Cong. Casiño’s House Bill 4315, are fellow legislators Neri Colmenares (Bayan Muna), Rafael Mariano (Anakpawis), Raymond Palatino (Kabataan), Luzviminda Ilagan, and Emmi De Jesus (Gabriela), Antonio Tinio (ACT Teachers), Salvador Cabaluna III (1-Care), Pedro Pancho (Bulacan), Herminia Roman (Bataan), Cesar Jalosjos (Zamboanga Del Norte), and Erico Aumentado (Bohol). #

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