Mining firms want stable policy

By Coco Alcuaz, ABS-CBN News Channel

Posted at Jun 22 2012 10:29 AM | Updated as of Jun 23 2012 02:23 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Mining companies are looking forward to the government's policy for the industry, even after President Aquino indicated taxes need to rise and as many as 78 areas in the country would be declared no-mining zones. 

"The mining industry needs a stable policy platform to ensure its sustained growth. We are looking forward to an EO that will finally harmonize the legal conflicts and remove roadblocks that will boost responsible mining as a strong economic pillar of our country," the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines said, in a statement.

The Chamber said it has given the government constructive recommendations that would protect the environment and provide for fair and progressive revenue-sharing.

Mining permits and investments have been stalled for months after Aquino said he would put his policies in an executive order to sort out environmental and economic issues.

Aquino earlier hinted that an executive order could be released this week.

Meanwhile, environmentalist Gina Lopez supported the President's statements that some areas should be off-limits to mining.

"The President needs to make a decision for a country with amazing natural resources. There's lots of minerals but lots of beauty and food to eat, too. The poorest areas of the country are mining areas. What's been proven is tourism and agriculture," she said.