TUBA, Benguet – Kalinga Rep. and Mountain Province caretaker congressman Allen Jesse C. Mangaoang challenged the country’s large-scale mining industry to unite and be instrumental in rural development to effectively and efficiently address poverty in the countryside.
Mangaoang, the vice-chair of the House committee on natural resources, said large-scale miners in other parts of the country should emulate the best practices of Philex Mining Corporation which continues to excel in the practice of responsible mining, thus, responsible mining is the key to improve the overall image of the country’s mining industry.
“We had witnessed how Philex excellently worked with its employees to achieve its current status as one of the model responsible miners in the country today. Philex must continue to innovate its practice of responsible mining to remain as the model mining company in terms of adhering to or even exceeding the present standards in the industry,” Mangaoang stressed.
He underscored that he already brought to the attention of the officials of the Chamber of Mines the need for the responsible miners to get their acts together and make the necessary noise to match the aggressive publicity being done by the anti-mining advocates that seem to have discredited the benefits of mining, especially to the host and neighboring communities.
According to him, what is important is for responsible miners to make known to the people what they had done, what they are currently doing and what will they still do while exploding, utilizing and developing the rich resources of the State so that the citizens will be aware that there are far more good benefits of mining compared to what had been projected as the bad state of mining.
Mangaoaong explained that for decades now, anti-mining advocates had overshadowed pro-mining stakeholders in gaining the sympathy of the public to their cause that is why people have a negative impression whenever mining is being discussed.
The Kalinga lawmaker underscored that he favors the creation of a strong oversight committee composed of congressmen and senators who will be in charge of monitoring the compliance of mining companies to existing standards instead of requiring mining to be the subject of franchising through the issuance of legislative franchises which could be prone to abuse in the future.
On the other hand, he added the House of Representatives is awaiting the proposal of the Chamber of Mines on the percentage of reduction of their corporate income tax to offset the 2 percent increase in the excise tax charged to the minerals produced by the companies contained in the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) so that lawmakers could start working on the other packages of the tax reform.
Mangaoang, a geologist by profession, said the atmosphere in Philex is totally different from the prevailing atmosphere in other mining communities in the country because the host local governments and the people living in the surrounding communities have learned to value the contribution of mining to their current living condition due to the significant improvements in the infrastructure within their villages aside from the various forms of assistance extended to them through the years.