LEGAZPI CITY: Albay Gov Joey Salceda lashed at the head of Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) and asked him to resign.
Salceda said “I ask for the resignation or replacement of MGB chief Leo Jasareno for dysfunctional bias in favor of mining companies that his institution is supposed to regulate”.
The Albay governor at the recently held League of Provinces 9th General Assembly said 40 provinces out of 80 have signed laws restricting mining activities.
Salceda claimed the doctrine of local preference and the philosophy of subsidiarity was not given appropriate attention by Jasareno despite the insistence of various provincial executives against mining.
He cited incontrovertible proof that mining poses more problems than benefits by pointing out that mining is not good for development as most mining provinces remain poor.
Mining companies poorly comply with its rehabilitation plan in areas affected by mining operations, the governor said.
Salceda claimed that mining companies in the Philippines give very low share for extracting the natural wealth by paying only 2% compared to 35% in Australia.
He disclosed that of the 2% share given to local government units , only 40% goes to the local communities.
For this reason, Salceda said he would ask the members of the League of Provinces to pass a resolution asking Jasareno to resign even as they would also request President Benigno Aquino III to look for a replacement who would be supportive of the League’s call.
Nong Dawal, an environmentalist citing a 2011 mining production report of the Rapu-Rapu Polymetallic Project, Inc (RPPI) in Albay revealed that the mining company posted an income of US$382.7 million or P16.5 billion in 2011 alone.
The income is summarized based on the following production: a total of 28089.34 troy ounces of gold valued at US$42.1 million; silver at 492039.42 troy ounces valued at US$17.2 million; copper - 31593.49 dry metric tons at US$259 million, and; zinc – 30613.40 dry metric tons at US$64.2 million.
Dawal said of P16.5 billion in mining income only 2.30% or P379.8 million share went to the local coffers in the form of taxes, national and LGU shares, PEZA fee, customs, occupational, and other fees.
Dawal then asked, “Where did the money go? The island [Rapu-Rapu] is as poor as ever.” – Bicol Mail