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PIA Press Release

Forum on mining held in Negros Oriental

By Rachelle M. Nessia

Dumaguete City (13 November) -- The Regional Mines Development Council-7 held a Stakeholder's Forum for Local Chief Executives for the provinces of Negros Oriental and Siquijor today (Nov. 13) at the Negros Oriental Convention Center.

The forum tackled various mining issues affecting local government units in the said provinces.

During the forum, Basay Mayor Beda Cañamaque said his town welcomes mining industries as this would boost employment in the area. "Paspasan na unta ang mining para maka-operate na sa among lugar kay dugay na nga ganahan ang mga taga-Basay maka-trabaho," he said.

The mayor stressed that his town is pro-mining as it would generate revenues for the LGU.

Under the Local Government Code of 1991, the LGUs, in addition to the internal revenue allotment (IRA) will receive a share from the gross collection derived by the national government from mining payments, taxes, fees and charges.

From 1991 to September 2008, a total of 92 mining tenement applications have been filed in Negros Oriental, of which 6 have been approved and 45 have been either rejected or withdrawn.

45 applications are currently under process.

In an interview, Mines and Geosciences Bureau-7 OIC-Regional Director Roger de Dios said that there is a possibility that a sulphur mining exploration will be done in Negros Oriental.

Areas in Amlan, Pamplona and Sibulan were found to be viable for mining after it tested positive for sulfur, said de Dios.

Once it materializes, this will be the first sulfur mining exploration in the region, he said.

Sulfur is a nonmetallic chemical element used in the production of fertilizers, soaps, insecticides, gunpowder and medicines.

RMDC-7 conducted the forum to provide information on the updates or development of the mining industry in the two provinces, work with local government units on the responsible and sustainable implementation of mining laws, rules and regulations for possible solutions on the various mining issues and concerns.

De Dios said a dialogue is necessary to involve all stakeholders as the conversation for mining has to be won honestly, intellectually, socially and economically.

Environment conservation is one of the concerns in the joint statement of the Fourth Summit among Cambodia, Laos Myanmar and Vietnam.

The statement stressed that the three countries will enhance financial and technical assistance to the CLMV countries through the current bilateral and regional initiatives, of which priority is given to infrastructure development, poverty reduction, human resource development and environment conservation. (PIA/rmn) [top]

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