BK Mindanao conducted a seminar-workshop on extractive industry last September 10 in Bunawan, Agusan del Sur attended by indigenous people groups and civil society organizations.
Mr. Melvin Lamanilao, a freelance consultant on natural resource management and contracts negotiations, talked about the extractive industry value chain and the important pillars of transparency and accountability. He mentioned the legal procedures of the free prior and informed consent (FPIC). He also stressed the importance of transparency and accountability to the indigenous peoples organizations present in order for them to alleviate poverty in their communities and avoid “resource curse”.
Ms. Beverly Besmanos, BK Mindanao subnational coordinator, presented an overview of the life cycle of a mining project from exploration to decommissioning. She mentioned the important requirements companies need to comply with including an environmental compliance certificate (ECC). She also talked about the necessary actions government needs to undertake such as environmental monitoring. The presentation also featured payments and royalties companies need to pay to the government.
Participants shared their viewpoints on the presentations shared and expressed interest in getting more information from the government and mining companies. They also raised concerns regarding the possible contamination of the Agusan marshes which is close to the mining site. Other issues were also raised such as conflict among tribes and lack of capacity in monitoring and handling royalties among indigenous peoples.
An earlier orientation was also conducted in September 02 for the Bunawan Tribal Council of Datu and Bai Inc.