A 4-day conference held in Tagum City was organized by the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) – Region XI inviting more than 50 participants coming from various indigenous peoples organizations (IPOs).
A forum on watershed management and food security was held in South Cotabato last August 27, 2015 with more than 40 participants coming from local government units, civil society organizations, and national government agencies.
Bantay Kita Subnational Coordinator for Mindanao Beverly Besmanos presented updates on pending bills in Congress in relation to mining revenues. Mr. Jaybee Garganera, national coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina, also presented facts about the negative impacts of mining especially in water. Dr. Lourdes Simpol of Ateneo de Davao University shared some of her insights on politics of ecology in Mindanao. She mentioned of present studies conducted saying that Sagittarius Mines Inc. needs to present a new environmental impact assessment.
Representatives from the National Economic Development Authority, Environmental Management Bureau, and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau also gave their insights.
Mr. Andres Magallanes of Notre Dame of Marbel University wrapped up the forum and urged that there be a transparent, participatory, and convergent approach in natural resource management where all key stakeholders are working together in coming up with one comprehensive environmental plan.
In partnership with Columbia University New York, Bantay Kita hosted four development studies graduate students for an internship program in the Philippines. Two of thegraduate students were deployed in Caluya, Antique, while the other two were stationed in Nueva Vizcaya to conduct separate studies from June to August.
The Philippine EITI closed the last leg of its local government unit (LGU) Roadshow at Hotel Jen Manila last August 19, 2015 with over 100 participants from civil society, government, and industry.
The event served as an opportunity for the stakeholders to come together and discuss the findings of the first Philippine report submitted to the International EITI. The Manila Roadshow invited participants from the Cordillera Administrative Region, Region 3, Region 4, and Region 5 making it the biggest delegation for the 5-leg roadshow.
President Benigno Aquino’s remaining months in office can still be an opportunity to push for a long awaited reform in the mining sector. Minerals are continuously being extracted despite the very small share the government is getting from the proceeds of extraction. A proposed measure to increase government share and simplify the fiscal regime in the mining industry is pending in the House of Congress filed by Representative Carlos M. Padilla.