LGUs have to follow nat'l policy on mining: Robredo

Posted at 07/10/12 10:52 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Local government units have been advised to ensure their ordinances are in line with the national mining policy.

In an interview with ANC, Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo said local officials were consulted before President Aquino signed the executive order (EO) on mining policy.

"There will be anarchy if anyone can do as they please without following a legal framework we have," he said.

Some governors have earlier threatened to challenge the EO before the Supreme Court, saying it disregards their autonomy.

Under EO 79, the DILG and LGUs are directed to work together to ensure the LGUs' powers and functions will conform with the regulations, decisions and policies taken by the National Government regarding mining.

However, Robredo noted that Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, one of the most vocal critics of the EO, is "really against mining."

"But that position cannot in any way prevent national government from pursuing programs and priorities as it deems fit," he said.

Meanwhile, the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) welcomed the new EO, saying it gives them a voice regarding mining areas. However, the NCIP said many provisions may need to be clarified further.

"We're very uncomfortable because there are a lot of gray areas in the EO and that has to be straightened out by the IRR," Zenaida Brigida Hamada-Pawid, NCIP chairman, said on ANC's TalkBack.

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), on the other hand, will begin crafting the implementing rules and regulations of the new EO today (Tuesday).

"We are optimistic that the investors would come in because the EO signals that there is now clear policy direction as far as the administration is concerned," MGB director Leo Jasareno said, on ANC's TalkBack.  - ANC