ARMM wants full control over strategic minerals

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews/22 Sept) – The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) is seeking full control over the exploitation and utilization of strategic minerals found in the region, Regional Executive Secretary Naguib Sinarimbo Tuesday said at the regional peace summit held at the ARMM Complex here.

Citing the results of multi-stakeholders consultations conducted earlier, Sinarimbo said Republic Act 9054, the law creating the ARMM, prohibits them from exploiting minerals like gold and petroleum.

He said Article 12, Section 5 of RA 9054 should be amended to allow the regional government to exercise full control and supervision over the exploitation of these resources.

Aside from proposing amendments to the law, Sinarimbo said the participants to the consultations recommended the devolution of the Department of Energy, creation of the Ligawasan Marsh Development Authority, and giving the autonomous government full control and management of the Lake Lanao watershed.

In a press conference Monday, the official cited that at present the law provides for a 50-50 sharing of revenues from the exploitation of natural resources in the region. He called the sharing scheme adverse to the region’s development and proposed instead a 70-30 sharing in favor of the ARMM.

He said that the 70-30 sharing scheme is being observed in autonomous regions in other countries, for example, Aceh in Indonesia,

Sinarimbo said amending RA 9054 is necessary to make it truly responsive to the principle of self-determination. (H. Marcos C. Mordeno / MindaNews)