Miners blast link to ‘Sendong’ tragedy PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 20 January 2012 16:59

The Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (CMP) said it condemns efforts of leftist and anti-mining organizations to link legitimate large-scale mining to the devastation wreaked by Tropical Storm Sendong in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City.

CMP said efforts to “demonize” large-scale mining were meant “to put political pressure” on the government to impose a moratorium on all forms of mining in the country.

“The Mines and Geosciences Bureau has confirmed that there are no large-scale mining operations in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan. We call on authorities to investigate reports of illegal logging and illegal small-scale mining activities in these areas and to impose maximum penalties on those who will be found to have violated the law,” CMP President Philip Romualdez said in a statement.

He said the tragedy in Northern Mindanao was one of the reasons the group sought the repeal of Presidential Decree 1899 and Republic Act 7076, which concern small-scale mining.

“The repeal of these laws will enable the Department of Environment and Natural Resources [DENR] to take full responsibility over small-scale mining activities and fully implement the DENR’s resource-management functions of permitting, regulation, control and supervision of strategic minerals. This action will also solve the problem of environmental destruction, such as what just happened in Mindanao with ‘Sendong,’” Romualdez said.

CMP appealed to the public to be “wary” of groups that are taking advantage of the situation in Northern Mindanao to promote their campaign to stop all forms of mining.

Legitimate large-scale mining firms follow the most stringent laws on environmental management and protection, including rehabilitation and reforestation of mined-out areas as well as soil erosion and siltation control measures,” Romualdez said.

CMP members consist of large-scale miners, such as Benguet Corp., Coral Bay Nickel Corp., Philex Mining Corp., and TVI Resource Development Philippines Inc.

The group made the statement after the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) recently ordered attacks on “landlords” who block land reform, as well as those who destroy environment and agricultural production.

The CPP noted in its 13-page statement that minority groups were in favor of the efforts of rebels to dismantle and shut down the operation of mining firms in the Philippines.

Earlier, the Armed Forces of the Philippines disclosed that rebel forces were planning to attack mining, logging and agro-industrial firms.