The participants had reached to sixty eight (68) composing of DENR-ARMM officials and employees, IP representatives, barangay officials of Upi, Maguindanao, CSO representatives, the panel of experts-Atty. Mary Grace Ellen S. Villanueva of Alyansa Tigil Mina; Marjorie Marasigan, FPE-NGP Specialists; Mark Bautista, FPE-Bamboo Specialist and Loi Manalansa of Bantay-Kita, and other guests such as Father Eliseo Mercado, OMI, as facilitator, Atty. Laisa Masuhud Alamia, ARMM Executive Secretary, Atty. Rasul Mitmug Jr., ARMM Deputy Executive Secretary, Assemblyman Cahar Ibay, Aveen Acuῆa-Gulo, IPDEV-IAG, and Atty. Randolph Parcasio, MNLF Legal Counsel.

Several presentations and reports were made by DENR-ARMM officials and resource speakers such as on the Mining Realities in ARMM-a Responsive Mining which gives focus on the SR Languyan experience, by Secretary Hadji Kahal Q. Kedtag; Updates on the National Greening Program on ARMM areas by Assistant Secretary Alindatu K. Pagayao; Forester Guiamel Abdul on Bamboo Rehabilitation and Livelihood; Small-scale Mining by Ms. Evelyn Cubelo of BAN Toxic; Orientation on RA 7942 or Mining Act of 1995 by Atty. Wilfredo Moncano; and River Bank and Gully Stabilization Projects of Mahintana Foundation by Jobe C. Tubigan.

Issues on phasing out of mercury on market; the rights of the constituents of the localities affected by mining activities; the effects of the developments created after the establishment of mining plants on the constituents; and a question on the existence of ‘responsible mining’ were some of the important points of discussion on the forum. These issues will be considered during the drafting of ARMM law on Environment and Natural Resources.

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