On Wednesday, 26 October 2016, 12:32, Greenresearch
PH BARES EFFORTS TO ADDRESS IRRESPONSIBLE MINING, PROTECT VULNERABLE
GROUPS, TO UN BODY
25 October 2016
GENEVA — The Philippine government bared its efforts to address mining
issues, preserve cultural diversity, and uphold the rights of indigenous
peoples, children, women and workers, during a dialogue with the United
Nations (UN) Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights last
According to National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Deputy
Director-General Rosemarie G. Edillon, who headed the Philippine
delegation, the Philippines is pursuing a two-track strategy for
mitigating the adverse effects of irresponsible mining. First is the
comprehensive audit of mining sites, and second, the review of the
Philippine Mining Act of 1995, which covers revenue-sharing to favor
affected communities, rehabilitating areas affected by disasters due to
mining operations, identifying “No-Go Zones,” and issuing liability
insurance to cover damages in mined-out and identified impact areas.
“The Philippines accords special attention to the plight of its
indigenous peoples (IPs)—the sector that is most affected by the mining
industry. We are thus continually seeking to empower our IPs and
communities through consultation processes, and in exercising the
principle of free, prior, and informed consent.”
“By engaging our IPs, we hope to strengthen the implementation of the
Indigenous Peoples Rights Act, which mandates the National Commission on
Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) to act on cases involving the violation of the
rights of indigenous peoples,” she added.
Moreover, Edillon talked about efforts of the government to promote
cultural heritage and diversity. One initiative, among many, is the
National Endowment Fund for Culture and the Arts, which disbursed
PhP602.6 million in 2015 for art festivals, publications and
documentation, research and development, and restoration and
preservation of cultural heritage.
The Philippine delegation also affirmed its commitment to protecting and
strengthening the family, drawing special attention to women and children.
“Actions are being taken on bills that aim to amend the Family Code,
underscoring the need for more equality in the family decision-making
process. The new administration has vowed to protect women’s rights, and
also called for the full implementation of the Philippine Magna Carta of
Women down to the barangay level,” Edillon said.
According to her, the Anti-Rape Law of 1997 is also undergoing
legislative scrutiny to be more responsive to the realities that
confront rape and potential rape victims.
Furthermore, the Philippines presented to the Committee its efforts to
stop human trafficking. From 2010-2016, the convictions in trafficking
in persons (TIP) increased eight times in number. The average trial
duration of TIP cases has also been significantly reduced from five
years to two years.
Last November 2015, the Philippines led the negotiations towards
adopting the ASEAN Convention in Trafficking in Persons (ACTIP) and its
accompanying Regional Plan of Action for the year 2016-2020.
Meanwhile, on workers’ rights, Edillon said that the Philippine
government has already completed the Human Resource Roadmap for
2016-2022, which contains labor supply and demand information, as well
as strategies for improving human resource competitiveness.
“The Philippines highly values decent work as a means to spur collective
development and progress. This is crucial as we address concerns of
unemployment and underemployment in the Philippines such as skills
shortage and job mismatch,” Edillon said.
She also mentioned the amended Migrant Workers Act, which provides for
integrated support services for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), a 24/7
assistance facility for them in host countries, and a reintegration
program for returning OFWs.
The recently concluded dialogue with the UN Committee on Economic,
Social and Cultural Rights is part of a regular review of the 164 states
that ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights (ICESCR).
It held its 59th session last September 28-29 in Geneva, Switzerland.