Miners and would-be miners were apprised of the laws governing the mining industry in the Philippines and were reminded of their awesome responsibilities.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) in Northern Mindanao said the mining summit in Misamis Oriental held on Thursday aims to revive the mining industry.
It also aims to identify the operators in consonance with Republic Act (RA) 7076, or the People’s Small-Scale Mining Act of 1991.
Rex Monsanto, MGB Northern Mindanao director, said the summit’s objective is to equip the participants the knowledge and best practices in the industry.
Monsanto said that despite the limited role of the environment department to the technical aspect in the issuances of permits, “Our inputs would harmonize the operations in the mining areas in the country and the application of the environmental as well as the operational laws.”
He said the DENR’s role is only to verify and validate whether the supposed mining area being applied for have the resource to be extracted and the determination of the quantity to be mined.
Monsanto said the summit is a prelude to the reintroduction of the small-scale mining ventures not for individuals, but for cooperatives or a community-based endeavor, or Minahang Bayan, and follow the principle of inclusive growth.
Engr. Daniel Belderol, MGB-Northern Mindanao Mine Management Division chief, said they have already identified areas suitable for mining ventures in the region awaiting petition or request from interested parties to be declared as People’s Small-Scale Mining Area to be filed with the Mining Regulatory Board.
The board is authorized to declare and set aside people’s small-scalemining areas in sites onshore suitable for small-scale mining, subject to review by the DENR secretary, immediately giving priority to areas already occupied and actively mined by small-scale miners.
Monsanto said that although the local government units have the final approval for small-scale mining to operate in their locality, it is important that provisions of the RA 7492, or the Philippine Mining Act, and all the other laws on mining be applied. The law provides that it is the responsibility of the state to promote the rational exploration, development and utilization and conservation of the country’s mineral resources through the combined efforts of the government and the private sector.
Written by: Butch D. Enerio