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"You can't expect miners like us ...
"You can't expect miners like us to give up to overseas investors our only source of livelihood," the report quoted Franco Tito, the chief of Diwalwal, as saying.
MOUNT DIWATA, Compostela Valley Province - Franco Tito, the pistol-packing barangay chairman of Diwalwal, is the first to admit that, by entrusting their fate in the hands of government, thousands of miners and their families in Diwalwal are actually gambling their future.
"We know that.
But either we try this alternative or peace and stability will never come to Diwalwal," Tito says.
spoke with his
constituents in Diwalwal
, explaining to them the scheme that DENR Secretary Heherson Alvarez wants implemented.
"This could be our chance to finally be recognized, for us to finally own Diwalwal," Tito told the miners.
"But if this fails," he
added, "we will continue the fight."
The crowd cheered.
"To be honest with you," Tito
added, "all we have right now is the word of Secretary Alvarez
, who promised to help us.
Mindanao Times News Archive - Davao City 8000, Philippines
Barangay Captain Franco Tito of Diwalwal, Monkayo, Compostela Valley said the national government, instead of inviting foreign investors to mine the country?s ore reserves, should better help the small-scale miners.Tito made the statement after being informed that the government lawyers, on behalf of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), have appealed the earlier ruling of the Supreme Court which nullified certain provisions of Republic Act 7942, or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995.
In its appeal before the High Court, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) claimed the government would loss about $10 billion in profit, including 7,445 jobs because of the ruling.
On January 27, the High Court tagged as unconstitutional provisions of the law that would allow government to sign agreements with foreign companies for mining purposes.The court also nullified the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the law and the Financial and Technical Agreement between the government and the Western Mining Corp.
, a company that started the exploration of the copper mining in Tampakan, South Cotabato. Tito
said the government seemed bent on providing the foreign companies with profit, while in the process dislocating the small scale miners whose livelihood is dependent on mining.
?Why should the government give to the multinationals the mining area when we can do it?? asked Tito
.The government should instead help the small miners by providing them financial assistance so they will be able to upgrade their mining mechanisms for better profitability, he
Franco Tito, the barangay chairman of Mount Diwata, the official name of Diwalwal, has said that the small and subsistence miners do not want to be booted out of the area or to be employed by big mining companies such as Southeast-JBMMC."We, not just the big miners, should be given a chance to grow," he said.The good thing about the government's plan on Diwalwal, he said, is that it is supposed to eliminate the employee-employer relationship that has been a bane for the farmers.
criticized the planned entry of foreign mining companies."The entry of the big ones here will cause trouble.Filipinos should be given priority because even without government support, we managed.Government should help the small miners so we can become big, too," Tito
a Mindanao news agency last week.
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The smoke from the explosion may have already suffocated the workers by now, said Franco Tito, barangay captain of Mount Diwata-Diwalwal.