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Albay Bans Mining

LEGAZPI CITY---  Future mining exploration in Albay would be banned after  members of the  Sangguniang Panlalawigan  (SP) passed recently a resolution strongly opposing any mining activity in the entire  province.

The unanimous anti-mining resolution authored by Board Member Arnold Embestro  penned on March 8, this year cited  that the conduct of future mining exploration or other mining activities  would indubitably jeopardize the environment including  depletion of the province’s mineral and natural resources.

The SP claimed that the resolution was made to protect and preserve the environment including its natural and mineral resources  for the benefit of this generation and  for future generations.

The SP resolution signed by nine of the 14-man SP was subsequently  approved and signed by Albay Gov. Joey Salceda.

Earlier Salceda said the benefits that  Bicol gets from mining operations as reported by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) was little compared to the  billions of pesos worth of mineral resources extracted  from the region.

Salceda one of the country’s top economists said the gains from mining operations is only artificial, that it bloats the region’s Gross Value Added (GVA), this is in reaction to reports that the operation of three mining firms in Bicol have boosted the region’s economy after it produced a total of P11.4 billion worth of metallic and non metallic products and paid P782.6 million in taxes last year.

“P11.4 Billion, yes, it artificially bloats our reported GVA. But, for whom? For the mining companies,” he averred.

GVA measures the contribution to the economy of each individual producer, industry or sector in the country. GVA is used in the estimation of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). GDP is a key indicator of the state of the whole economy.

“This report only makes me more angry and more committed to oppose mining in Albay,” Salceda  declared.

Salceda who also chairs the Regional Development Council (RDC) laments that the billions that these mining firms earned from their operations were never remitted to the Philippines, much less to the banking system in Bicol.

“They paid taxes of P782M where we have little share and have not received our share at all. There is that social fund of P41.71 million or only 3% so graphically Lilliputian to the P11.7B of Gulliver,” Salceda said.


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