The Mines and Geosciences Bureau participated in the People’s Mining Forum entitled, “People’s Mining Forum: A forum on DENR Mining Audit Results and the Need for National Industrialization” which was organized by the Center for Environmental Concern, a non-government organization, to raise the level of discourse regarding various mining issues in the country and to discuss the DENR mine audit results in the context of national industrialization.

University of the Philippines Diliman Chancellor Dr. Michael L. Tan welcomed the speakers and participants to the event, underscoring the importance of holding such forum as an avenue for different groups to discuss and analyze the mining issues in a broader context.

Engr. Rodolfo L. Velasco, Jr., Chief, Safety, Environment and Social Development Division, Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) presented the plans, programs and advocacies of MGB, focusing on the safety and health, environmental, and social development programs being implemented by mining companies pursuant to existing mining and environmental laws, rules and regulations. Moreover, he also discussed and expounded on the objectives, parameters and results of the recently-concluded DENR Mine Audit.

Aside from Engr. Velasco, other resource speakers in the People’s Mining Forum were Dr. Giovanni A. Tapang, Chairperson of the Advocates of Science and Technology for the People (AGHAM) and Rep. Carlos T. Zarate, Bayan Muna Party-list Representative and Chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources.

Dr. Tapang discussed the state of the local mining industry and its role in national industrialization. He stressed the need to reverse the export-oriented and import-dependent mining and economy by establishing downstream mining industries in the country. Likewise, Rep. Zarate discussed the salient points of the proposed People’s Mining Bill which he stated, is based on people’s needs, environmental safety and genuine national industrialization and development. The people’s Mining Bill which was co-authored by Rep. Zarate aims to replace the existing Republic Act 7942, otherwise known as the Philippine Mining Act of 1995.

A panel of reactors from Movement for the Protection of the Environment (Move Now), Samahang Pangkarapatan ng Katutubong Manggagawa at Magsasaka, Inc. (SAPAKMMI) and Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) also shared their thoughts, calling for the Government to address their concerns on various environmental and social issues with regard to existing mining operations in the country.

Likewise, an open forum was held where members of the audience were given the chance to ask mining-related questions to the panelists composed of Engr. Velasco, Dr. Tapang and Rep. Zarate.

The People’s Mining Forum was held at the Palma Hall, University of the Philippines Diliman on March 06, 2017.

By: Mine Safety, Environment and Social Development Division

MSESDD 1 April 17 The People’s Mining Forum was held to raise the level of discourse regarding various mining issues in the country and to discuss the DENR mine audit results in the context of national industrialization.

MSESDD 2 April 17 Participants from different organizations listening to Engr. Rodolfo L. Velasco, Jr. during his presentation on the plans and programs of MGB and the DENR mine audit results.

MSESDD 3 April 17 The panelists composed of Engr. Rodolfo Velasco, Jr., Dr. Giovanni A. Tapang and Rep. Carlos T. Zarate during the open forum.

 MSESDD 4 April 17 A member of the audience addressing a question to the panelists during the open forum.

 

 

 

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