2012 Mining Conference in Philippines

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2012 Mining Conference in Philippines

  • The Chamber of Commerce is hosting the 2012 Mining Conference in the Philippines, a 3-day event to discuss the plans and raging issues about the controversial industry amid a business environment that is not favorable to them.

  • The Runruno gold project is situated in Central Luzon and has an approved Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA).
  • Mining Chamber officials Philip Romualdez, Artemio Disini and Joey Leviste accompany Vice President Jejomar Binay to his car after his speech. Overheard Romualdez telling Binay, " Kayo na po bahala kay (Environment Secretary Ramon) Paje."

  • Next topic: Financing mining in emerging economies from Charles Nelson from Murdock Capital, New York.
  • Meyer: Unless there is a strong collaboration with the LGU, the PEI program will not work. The key is linking poverty reduction strategy with local planning with the consideration of natural resources.
  • The next speaker will be Atty Emmanuel Lombos on issues that affect environmental rules and procedures.
  • Lombos is examining the provisions of the EO79 and IRR that increases the "no-go areas" for mining. These areas will be added to agriculture, fisheries, tourism, and other critical areas that the DENR has identified.
  • Lombos: The first constitutional problem with the EO: There is a clear separation of powers. A law is passed by Congress but the executive branch of the government identifies the areas. There is "unconstitutional usurpation of legislative powers."
  • Lombos identified the second constitutional problem: The preference given to other uses of land violates constitutional preference for mining. He quotes SC that says "once minerals are discovered in the land... the land is thus converted to mineral land and may not be used by any private party for any other purposes."
  • But there's more! There's a third constitutional problem according to Lombos: the definition of the additional closed areas are vague and incomprehensible. He notes island ecosystems.
  • Lombos: Every ecosystem is in some sense unique and no such thing as a robust and invulnerable ecosystem. Therefore, any one of the 7,700 islands in the country can be closed to mining at DENR's caprice.
  • Lombos: That is not allowed by the due process standard. That is not present if you have an incomprehensible rule. The rule is either incapable of enforcement because it it incomprehensible or it can be applied to anything and everything.
  • Lombos: You need only one constitutional flaw and the measure is void. In the case of the EO79's no-go mining areas, there are three.
  • Another constitutional issue: No new mineral agreements. With this, the executive branch refuses to implement laws. The entire duty of the executive branch is to enforce all laws.
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