Strict mining rules are needed, because the extraction of minerals can have adverse impacts on the surrounding environment, according to neophyte Sen. Ana Theresia Hontiveros, who filed a bill seeking to ensure the protection of communities by setting limits on mining operations.

Hontiveros filed the alternative minerals-management bill on Thursday, saying the remedial legislation seeks to ensure protection of communities and the environment "through taxes and heavy fines."
Read more: Mining bill seeks taxes, heavy fine for erring firms

The Chamber of Mines of the Philippines said Wednesday the industry does not need new laws but only their strict and fair enforcement.

"Our mining laws are globally recognized as among the best because these integrate stringent rules on the environment and caring for the local communities," said CoMP president Benjamin Philip Romualduez in his speech during the 2016 Mining Philippines International Conference and Exhibition held in Marriott Hotel in Parañaque City.
Read more: 'PH mining laws strict enough'

There is hope for the big players in the mining industry, amid the crackdown launched by Environment Secretary Regina Paz L. Lopez versus irresponsible mining operations, with over 100 new projects being reviewed by the Duterte administration.

In fact, Environment Undersecretary Mario Luis J. Jacinto said the ongoing mining audit—first thought to be Lopez's way of curbing mining operations in the country—will eventually benefit large-scale miners who responsibly do business in the Philippines.
Read more: Miners finally see glimmer of hope

Citing the need for policies to "be based on science and hard facts and not on mere slogans of hard-line ideology," the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) asked President Rodrigo R. Duterte "to immediately convene a meeting with the industry" to break "the wasteful impasse" the industry has had to endure since 2011.

The country's miners have been reeling from the moratorium on new mining permits that has been in place since 2011 and extended indefinitely through Executive Order No. 79 signed by former President Benigno S. C. Aquino III on July 6, 2012. A new mining revenue-sharing scheme that was supposed to lift the moratorium was left untouched when the 16th Congress ended last June.
Read more: Miners ask Duterte to break impasse

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