MANILA – A full investigation to shed light on the Semirara mining collapse that left nine miners dead last July 17, 2015 is being sought at the House of Representatives, Akbayan Rep. Barry Gutierrez said Friday.
Gutierrez, together with fellow Akbayan Rep. Angie Katoh and Ako Bicol Rep. Rodel Batocabe, filed House Resolution 2274 directing the House Committees on Natural Resources, Climate Change and Energy to jointly conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the collapse of a portion of the Panian mining site in Antique, operated by Semirara Mining and Power Company.
“Through the investigation we hope to find out the root causes of the accident, and if, at all, it is possible to prevent this type of disaster from happening again,” Gutierrez said.
The resolution is looking at the compliance of the mining company “to assess all safety and health risks, and eliminate, control or minimize such risks, as well as take every reasonable precaution necessary to ensure the safety and health of the employees while on duty,” as provided under Section 5, Rule 21 of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Administrative Order No. 2000-98 on Mine Safety and Health Standards.
“This could greatly aid the government agencies and Congress, especially, in determining if there is a need for new laws, or amend existing ones, to create more effective and disaster-proof mine safety and health legislation,” Gutierrez noted.
“Unless we get a clear picture, the lives and safety of thousands of our miners and families are at grave risk,” he said.