A group, composed of church people in Negros Island calling themselves Defenders of Patrimony, is urging President Benigno Aquino III to scrap the Mining Act of 1995.
Rev. Bobby Menguito of Defend Patrimony said Aquino is aware of the destructions left behind by mining explorations in the country, one of which is in Sipalay City, Negros Occidental.
In Oriental Negros, he said, the group is closely watching mining explorations at the former CDCP mines in Basay town, where a Canadian-based mining company called ADANAC-X is extracting mineral resources for shipment abroad.
He said the one percent excise tax cannot compensate for the destruction to the environment of unscrupulous mining operations.
He also raised concerns about an existing conflict between two tribes in the mining area.
Menguito said 95 to 98 percent of the mined area is covered by the Bukidnon Magahat tribe, headed by Joel Catit. However, the memorandum of agreement is between ADANAC-X and the Cabatuanan tribe.
Under Republic Act 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997, a Free, Prior and Informed Consent from indigenous community living in a prospective mining area is required before any exploration could be done.*JG
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