by Ben Rosario
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez has proposed that the mining industry be subjected to strict legislative franchise requirements in a bid to ensure that mining firms will strictly observe environmental laws.
Alvarez filed House Bill 6259 making it mandatory for all mining firms to secure a legislative franchise before they can operate, saying that this move will also ensure the industry’s more significant contribution to the country’s economy and national development.
In filing HB 6259, Alvarez is requiring mining firms to acquire a legislative franchise that would subject them to follow strict qualification standards and will help guarantee that they will follow laws protecting the environment.
The House of Representatives leader noted that the Philippines is among the top five countries in the world in terms of minerals, with an estimated value of $ 1.4 trillion.
The challenge, according to Alvarez, is for the government to ensure the proceeds of the mining industry translate into sustainable development, environmental protection, and greater transparency and accountability in the industry.
“By requiring mining firms to acquire a legislative franchise, the people, through their elected representatives, would be able to scrutinize the applicants, their capability and track record, in order to make sure that only responsible mining firms are allowed to operate in the country,” Alvarez said.