Environmental groups and advocates on Wednesday held a picket in front of the House Of Representatives (HoR) to urge Congress for the swift and immediate passage of the Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB).
According to Akbayan Rep. Barry Gutierrez, one of the champions and principal author of the proposed legislation, AMMB is the “best alternative” to the existing mining policy.
“What we need are long-term and efficient form of actions to effectively respond to the prevalent negative impacts and externalities spawned by the mining industry. No less than a radical shift in our minerals management law will do this,” Gutierrez said.
“It’s high time for Congress to pass an alternative minerals law that puts premium in the ecological value of our country’s mineral resources, and shift the land use priority towards environmental protection, food security and sustainable development,” the lawmaker added.
An estimated 200 environmental advocates joined the rally bearing posters urging the Congress to prioritize and enact the AMMB, instead of the economic charter change.
The activity was organized by Akbayan, Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) and partner environmental and human rights organizations and advocates.
When enacted House Bill 984, or the AMMB, will replace the Philippine Mining Act of 1995, to “regulate the rational exploration, development, and utilization of mineral resources, and to ensure the equitable sharing of benefits for the state, indigenous peoples and local communities.”
“Through AMMB, we aim to ensure that the exploration, development and utilization of the mineral resources are truly responsive to the aspirations and welfare of our people now and in the future,” Gutierrez said.
The proposed legislation is currently under deliberation at the level of Technical Working Group (TWG) of the House Committee on Natural Resources.###