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Govt hits back over mining row

Says NGOs and all stakeholders were consulted over new policies

  • ucanews.com reporter, Manila
  • Philippines
  • July 16, 2012
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The government today dismissed criticism by some 300 civil society organizations to President Benigno Aquino's new mining policy.

Presidential spokesman Ramon Carandang told a press briefing that non-governmental organizations were consulted before the order was signed by Aquino last week.

“We had been discussing this with stakeholders – the NGOs, the environmental groups, the local government units, and of the mining industry itself,” he said.

He said he is "not sure" who the 300 civil society groups were that have joined the Philippine Misereor Partnership Inc (PMPI) in opposing the new policy.

The PMPI is a partnership between non-government organizations, church and faith-based groups in the Philippines and Misereor, a development agency of the Catholic Church based in Aachen, Germany.

In a statement released last Saturday, the PMPI said the provisions of the new policy are generally confined to the framework of the old mining law, "which perpetuates mining as an engine for economic growth.”

Carandang, however, said various groups have been opposed to mining from the start.

“I think that, on the whole, most reasonable stakeholders in mining have agreed that perhaps while it’s not ideal for them, it is something that most of the stakeholders can live with,” he said.

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