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Chamber welcomes new Philippine Mining Policy

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MANILA - The country's big mining lobby on Monday welcomed President Benigno Aquino III's new mining policy, saying this is a signal to all investors of the government's desire to put in place a stable business environment.

“We view the time spent on developing the policy as recognition of the important role of responsible mining as a catalyst for economic growth. The mining policy offers solutions that will encourage the development of the country’s mineral resources,” the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines said in a statement.

The group said it respects the government’s decision to close certain areas to mining, adding that all environmentally critical and protected areas are, and should always be, preserved for future generations. 

“We appreciate the position recognizing existing operating permits. COMP is committed to cooperate with the executive and legislative branches in developing a rational revenue sharing scheme,” the group said.

“We submit that legislation should also include a review of the Local Government Code, the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act, and the Internal Revenue Code in a purposive effort to harmonize conflicting provisions of these laws with the Mining Policy,” it added.

COMP said it is relying on the continuation of consultation through the Mining Industry Coordinating Council, which the group calls an effective way to elicit the participation and draw out the concerns of stakeholders in the difficult task of balancing interests.

“We understand that the release of the policy is only the first step towards our shared goal of inclusive and sustainable growth. We will work with his administration and other stakeholders in finding mutually acceptable solutions to the issues of revenue sharing, environmental protection, and sustainable development,” COMP said.