BARMM CM Ebrahim encourages mining companies to invest in Bangsamoro

Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao- During a luncheon in Makati organized by the Philippine Mining Club on Friday, August 9, Bangsamoro Chief Minister Al Haj Ahod  aka Murad Ebrahim encouraged mining companies to consider investing in mining operations in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

In the same gathering, Ebrahim also emphasized that the Bangsamoro government will only approve mining operations that respect the people and the ecological integrity of the new southern region.

In a report by Rappler on August 9, Ebrahim said, "I invite you to explore opportunities on mining to bolster the economic development of the Bangsamoro," he told mining executives and leaders of mining groups.

"I hope that we do this with the lens of the 4 bottomlines that I have outlined. Profit, yes, but please include also the people, the planet, and the purpose for all this which is change for the good," Ebrahim added.

Also present during the luncheon meeting were European Union Ambassador Franz Jessen, New Zealand Ambassador David Strachan, and Australian Ambassador Steve Robinson – envoys of countries with mining interests in the Philippines.

Ebrahim also said that he Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), the interim government of the Bangsamoro, is honoring mining contracts entered into by the now-defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

The Bangsamoro Organic Law gives the BTA the power to grant mining permits for operations in the region.

But before it exercises this power, the Bangsamoro Government would first conduct an audit of mining operations in the region to ensure compliance to environmental regulations and other laws, said Ebrahim as quoted by Rappler.

The audit is to be led by BARMM Minister of Environment Abdulraof Macacua aka Sammy Almansour Gambar.

"In order for the administration to measure the impact of mining industry in the lives of our people, the BARMM Minister of Environment and Natural Resources constituted the mining performance audit team that will look into the compliance of these mining companies to their commitments, both in environmental and social contributions," said Ebrahim .

He told the mining executives that the mining audit shouldn't be seen as an effort to "find holes" in the mining industry but to "provide an avenue for a better, pro-environment, pro-people and responsible mining in the BARMM."

Ebrahim called the mining code the "responsible mining law."

"This mining code shall address robust development, not at the expense of the environment," said  Ebrahim.