RDMC bats for continuing consultation for mining activities
Baguio City (22 July) -- In efforts to make people understand mining issues and concerns, and to generate greater public confidence in the minerals industry, there is a need for a continuing consultation among stakeholders.
Presidential Adviser for the Cordillera Thomas Killip stressed that exhaustive consultation is needed even if majority of the people in the community are in favor to development projects like mining. Proponents have to convince the smaller group as this creates disagreements among the people. The minority can create trouble, he pointed out.
While the mining industry contributes much to the economy, the public are concerned over the adverse effects of a number of mining projects on the environment and ecology such as degradation and pollution.
He cited the case of Mountain Province which is not yet receptive to commercial mining because of experiences from outside. Thus the need for continuing consultation, Killip said.
Relative to this, the Regional Mines Development Council agreed to recommend to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources that the RDMC will be invited in public consultation for any proposed mining activity in the area and will issue a certification that a public consultation has been undertaken. This is seen to help avoid speculations and recrimination as the issue on whether or not a public consultation for a mining activity has been done has become contentious especially among those against mining activities.
According to Mines and Geosciences Bureau regional Director Neoman de la Cruz, what DENR requires from local government units as proof that a consultation was indeed conducted prior to the issuance of permit for a mining activity like exploration are resolutions from the barangay, the municipal council and the provincial board.
The consultations will be a venue where the RDMC can draw some issues and concerns from the public regarding mining which they will bring to the body for resolution.
The RDMC, which was created in the Cordillera last year, helps oversee the proper and sustainable development of the mineral resources and in the promotion of responsible mining advocacy and investment in the region. (PIA) [top]