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Solon wants to make Baguio mining-free

Jul 16, 2015 @ 8:35

Baguio City Rep. Nicasio Aliping, Jr. wants to ban all mining activities in the city.

Aliping said as one of the country’s top tourist spots, Baguio should be mining-free.

“The City of Baguio should be a mining-free area. It should be declared as one,” the lawmaker said in a story published in Sunstar.

Aliping has filed House Bill 3463 that seeks to revise the city’s charter. A similar bill, filed by former representative and now Baguio Mayor Mauricio Domongan, was vetoed by President Aquino two years ago.

The city’s charter has remained unchanged since it was written by Justice George Malcolm in 1909. The charter even pre-dates the 1935 Constitution and has not yet been revised since its enactment so that almost all of its provisions have become obsolete and irrelevant, according to Aliping.

He said he will include a provision in the Revised City Charter bill to address the problem of small-scale mining at the city’s outskirts.

“The Revised City Charter will make Baguio City further urbanized and developed in the upcoming years,” he added.

He has proposed livelihood programs for small scale miners in Baguio to help them start anew.

Councilor Michael Lawana said illegal mining persists in Kias, Loakan, Camp 7 and Atok Trail.

Lawana insisted that mining areas should still be identified in the city’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) to determine if they will be converted for residential or commercial use or transformed into a green zone.

Domongan, for his part, said he supports Aliping’s bill.

“We acknowledged that mining is part of the city’s identity, but unfortunately we cannot accommodate mining activities in the city anymore,” the mayor said.

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