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March 3, 2017 by bayanmuna_admin

On the 22nd anniversary of the country's mining law, House Committee on Natural Resources chairperson and Bayan Muna partylist Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate said "now is the time to finally replace a deeply problematic and plunderous mining law." "The time is long ripe to scrap the Mining Act of 1995. What is crystal clear, in the more than two (2) decades of liberalized mining, is that it does not work for the development of our economy and the betterment of our people. Instead, liberalized mining has abused, violated the rights of the people, wreaked havoc on our environment, and raped our national patrimony. There are several alternative and people's mining bills now lodged in the Committee of Natural Resources, and we made these our priority, in response to the long-wrought turmoil that the current  mining law caused to communities,” Rep. Zarate said. “It is a profound irony that the billions of pesos that these large scale and mostly foreign mining corporations extricate from our mineral lands, these same areas are the poorest in the country. According to a study by independent think tank IBON Foundation, in 2009, mining had the highest poverty incidence among industry groups at 48.71%. This was the highest poverty incidence since 1988, even surpassing the agriculture sector, which has historically topped poverty incidence across industries,” Rep Zarate pointed out. “The numbers are reflection on how extractive, export oriented mining as a development strategy is a huge  failure. National industrialization, or the development of local industries, will be immensely boosted by mining, if it geared, for example, towards agricultural development,” Rep. Zarate said. “We are heartened by the positive response of some of our scientists and technologists who support the track of national industrialization during the deliberation of mining bills. We just hope that the government’s economic managers also see eye to eye on the track of national industrialization as was pronounced by the President. The repeal of the Mining Act of 1995 and replace it with a pro-people, pro-environment mining law geared towards industrialization is a huge step towards this,” Rep. Zarate ended. The Committee on Natural Resources is set to investigate mining operations, starting with Lepanto Mining Corporation in Mankayan, Benguet on March 9.###      

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