By Gerry Albert Corpuz and Portnip Pakangcharap
MANILA, Philippines- Anti-large scale mining activists belonging to fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) and Anakpawis party list on Tuesday advised 40 governors to remain firm in resisting the new anti-mining policy of the Aquino administration.
In a joint press statement Pamalakaya vice chairperson Salvador France and Anakpawis vice chairperson Salvador France also said the 40 governors should rally other governors, and the leagues of mayors, councilors and barangay officials to support their opposition to the newly crafted mining policy that will soon to be signed by President Benigno Simeon Aquino III.
The 40 governors are planning to question the new mining policy before the Supreme Court the moment it is signed by President Aquino according to Albay governor Joey Salceda. “The official stand of the 40 governors against the new mining policy of the Aquino administration merits an across-the-nation endorsement and support of the Filipino public. It will gain the backings of the church, the environmental groups and communities who are daily ravaged by large-scale plunder,” the two leaders added.
“We hope the governors won’t change their minds and will continue to oppose the new mining policy in the name of national interest and collective will of the people. It is an open book that Malacanang is hooked to large-scale mining and most of the cronies of President Arroyo are into large-scale and destructive mining,” Hicap and France added.
France and Hicap asserted that the rising tide of anti-mining sentiment all over the country is an indication that the export-oriented and corruption checkered mining industry is rejected by the Filipino people and this anti-mining appreciation of 40 governors reflect this growing resentment against large-scale mining.
The 40 anti- mining policy governors noted that the new policy on mining disregards the autonomy and independence of local governments in enacting their own ordinances in favor of national laws and regulations involving the mining industry.
Salceda asserted the new policy would “breed inequality of income and assets” and would “destroy the countryside”, that is why the 40 governors decided to oppose the new mining policy that would nullify past ordinances that had restricted or regulated or opposed mining, especially the new mining policy, he added, is against the countryside and local governments. Salceda said at least 40 provinces had passed ordinances that restrict or regulated or opposed metallic mining and large-scale mining.
The governor said his province stopped accepting new mining applications. Gov. Salceda noted that local governments distrusted the national government and the mining companies because they did not feel the benefits of mining. He said in Albay, which hosts the Rapu-Rapu Polymetallic Project, only received P3.4 million from the mining company’s revenues, Salceda said. @