Press Release
June 10, 2006


The Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources chaired by Senator Pia S. Cayetano will hear different measures calling for the review, repeal and amendment of Republic Act No.7942, or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995.

The initial hearing set on Tuesday, June 13, will invite representatives from the mining industry, environmental groups, the Catholic Church and government agencies overseeing the implementation of the mining law.

Four pending measures will be heard by the committee, including: (1) Senate Bill No.2021, authored by Cayetano herself, which seeks to amend the Mining Act by instituting an independent health and environmental assessment for all communities affected by mining projects; (2) SB No.2205 (Sen. Madrigal) repealing the Mining Act and instituting a new system of mineral resources exploration, development, utilization and conservation; (3) SB No.295 (Sen. Osmena III) repealing the Mining Act; and (4) Resolution No.488, also authored by Cayetano, seeking a review of the status of the implementation of the Mining Act.

Among the invited resource speakers are: DENR Secretary Angelo Reyes, DTI Sec. Peter Favila, DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III, and NEDA Director-General Romulo Neri and Chamber of Mines President Benjamin Philip Romualdez.

Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) President Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, Atty. Marvic Leonen of the Legal Rights and Resource Center and Dr. Carlos Primo David of the UP National Institute for Geological Sciences have also been invited.

Cayetano said the hearing will be very timely as the public awaits the government's decision on the fate of Lafayette Mining Ltd., which was shut down early this year following two mine spills at the Rapu-Rapu Polymetallic Project in Albay.

She also cited recent studies and media reports indicating that existing mechanisms under the Mining Act are not sufficient to help development among communities hosting mining operations.

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