Aquino rejects total ban on mining

By Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 19 2012 12:01 PM | Updated as of Mar 20 2012 12:51 AM

BAGUIO CITY—President Aquino said he is not in favor of imposing a total ban on mining, preferring that the government ensure that it gets “a fair share” from mining revenues.
“We don’t think banning altogether is the solution. You will have small-scale unregulated mining. We want to ensure that we get a fair share. We want to be able to also be part of the processing and we want to maximize the utility of the resource for our people,” Aquino told reporters.
Asked how much “fair share” should the government get from mining revenues, Aquino said this is one of the issues being discussed by Palace officials and mining stakeholders as Malacañang crafts its mining policy.
“When they extract it from the ground, 2% is what we charge them as tax. What happened to the 98%? The two percent takes care of everything that might happen if there is a disaster. Of course, those of us who remember what happened in Marinduque and the promises that were made are really very wary. That is one of the actual details that are being discussed—what represents fair. I’ve been following it up with them. They tell me that they are very close to submitting it to me for final approval. It’s still not with me,” Aquino told reporters.
Aquino said there are proposals for a 50-50 share but he would not make a categorical comment, saying that he would prefer to first wait for the recommendation of the group tasked to craft the Palace’s mining policy.