Mining Undersecretary becomes OIC-Secretary after Cimatu steps down as DENR chief

by Philippine Resources - February 28, 2022

Photo credit: DENR - Mr. Jim O. Sampulna

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Undersecretary for Mining, Muslim Affairs, and Attached Agencies, Mr. Jim O. Sampulna has stepped in place of DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu after his official resignation on February 17, 2021.

Acting presidential spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles confirmed on February 18, 2021, that Cimatu's departure was due to health reasons.

"We wish Secretary Cimatu good health as he transitions from his decades-long and stellar service in government to private life," Nograles said in a statement.

Before being appointed as DENR Secretary in May 2017, Cimatu is a retired Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and served as the country's Special Envoy to the Middle East with the rank of Ambassador under the term of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

According to a Memorandum from the Office of the President, Undersecretary Jim Sampulna was appointed as Officer-in-Charge of DENR, “until a replacement is appointed or until otherwise directed by this Office."

 

Article courtesy of the MGB


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Abe Almirol - June 11, 2021

DENR Pushes for a $27.5-M Green Cooling Tech Project

Photo Credit: DW In a bid to tighten national policy against ozone depleting substances (ODS), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) initiated a big leap towards cleaner technology among industries using cold chain facilities. The environmental agency wants the Philippine government to promote low carbon, energy efficient systems to eliminate the use of hydrochlorofluorocarbons or HCFC in industries requiring heavy use of refrigeration and air-conditioning systems. Cold chain covers every product that needs cooling from the farmgate to the dining table, including aspects such as transport, storage, transformation, and packaging. So far, sectors dependent on cold chains are the biggest users of ODS. The Global Partnership for Improving the Food Cold Chain in the Philippines (GPI-FCCP), a project which got a $27.5 million funding from the Global Environmental Facility, shall carry out a strategic positioning of environment-friendly cold chain technology across the country. “Refrigeration systems for transporting goods in the food industry will no longer use ODS-HCFC. Stringent policies are important in providing a stable investment environment for investors in ‘green’ cooling technologies,” the DENR said in a statement. The new policies will affect national standards for flammable refrigerants and energy efficiency. GPI-FCCP will also initiate a high-level training for fifty (50) local engineers, system suppliers, and end-users on the use of innovative cold chain technology that are currently used globally. Stakeholders’ participation As a project assisted by the international funder Global Environment Facility (GEF), the GPI-FCCP also includes the training of two hundred (200) key stakeholders on energy-efficiency and climate-friendly cold chain technologies. These trained stakeholders shall serve as champions in the advocacy to popularize new technologies replacing ODS-HCFCs. The major implementers of the GPI-FCCP are the DENR and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). The German international cooperation agency Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) also serves as a co-financer of the project. Agricultural commodities such as meat, dairy, fish, and a broad range of vegetable crops need cooling and freezing systems while in transit, during storage, and at the display shelves. Traditional practices using natural cooling could be seen during harvest times in most farms in the Philippines. The lack of access to refrigerated transportation vehicles taught farmers in Northern Luzon that it is best to transport vegetable products to Metro Manila at night, where heat is lesser, and traffic is lighter. Some known HFC and HCFC alternatives used in Europe include R32 refrigerants tested to have lower global warming potential (GWP), Hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs), and HFC-HFO blends. A European expert said there is no “cure all” alternative because there are varied safety and thermodynamic properties among refrigerants. Some alternatives do no work well in certain types of products and equipment. Also, geographical locations may affect the efficiency and effectivity of each kind of alternative. PH compliance to the Montreal Protocol DENR said the green cold chain project came about as part of the country’s compliance to its commitment to the 1987 Montreal Protocol, a global agreement to protect the stratospheric ozone layer by phasing out the production and consumption of ODS. The ozone is the earth’s protective layer, absorbing UV light which reduces human’s exposure to harmful ultraviolet radiation, said to be the leading cause of skin cancer and cataract. “ODS includes chlorofluorocarbons, halons, carbon tetrachloride, methyl chloroform, hydrobromofluorocarbons, hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), methyl bromide, and bromochloromethane,” DENR explained. Refrigeration technologies have come out as top concern due to low energy efficiency and high global warming potential. Common refrigerants extensively use HCFCs. The Montreal Protocol compelled signatory countries to freeze consumption and production of the ODS-HCFCs. The treaty also called on developing countries to cut by 100% their HCFC production by 2030. Private sector engagement will be crucial in the Philippines’ effort in obtaining knowledge transfer of the most innovative, climate friendly, and energy efficient refrigeration technologies, the DENR said.

Mining

Philippine Resources - March 28, 2022

DENR seeks media help to monitor mining

Photo: Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Jim Sampulna calls on the media Friday (March 25, 2022) to help monitor large-scale mining operations in the country, to make sure that they follow the policies set by the government. Sampulna says irresponsible miners have no place in the country. (PNA photo by Che Palicte) Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Acting Secretary Jim Sampulna said Friday that they need help from the media to monitor mining in the country. In an interview here Friday, Sampulna underscored the importance of closely watching mining activities in the country as not to put the environment in danger. "We only need responsible miners, we say no to irresponsible ones. They will be properly monitored by the DENR and the media," he said. Sampulna underscored the media’s vital role in protecting the environment. Recently, the DENR in Davao Region served a cease and desist order to the Riverbend Consolidated Mining Corporation/Arc Nickel Resources, Inc. (ANRI) located in Banaybanay, Davao Oriental, for the siltation incident in the area on January 14. The siltation took place at the Mapagba and Pinatatagan Rivers in Banaybanay town after more than 12 hours of heavy downpour. According to DENR-11, the potential source of siltation and discoloration in the two rivers were traced to the active mining activity of the company, based on the multi-agency investigation and assessment conducted on January 15. By Che Palicte   Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency

Mining

Jimbo Gulle - June 09, 2021

New Policy Sets Mining Exploration Period's Automatic Renew

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is targeting to facilitate the continuity of mining exploration projects in the country, the Philippine News Agency reported June 9. A still-unnumbered and soon-to-be-published DENR Administrative Order (DAO) will provide guidelines for automatic renewal of the exploration period covering such projects and timely declaration of mining project feasibility under various mining tenements, noted Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Mining Tenements Management Division OIC chief Danilo Deleña. He said the DAO will cover all exploration permits and mineral production sharing agreements, financial or technical assistance agreements, and other similar mining tenements under the exploration stage. "That DAO's issuance aims to ensure continuous conduct of exploration activities by all permittees, contractors and other holders of mining tenements,' he said Tuesday during the virtual MGB stakeholders' forum on government mining policies. The existing renewal process is for parties concerned to submit all required documents and pay the renewal fee so MGB can evaluate their applications and approve these if justified, he noted. He said MGB has been studying how to facilitate the process as several mining stakeholders already clamored for this, citing difficulty in complying with renewal requirements. "The DAO answers their clamor," he said. Such DAO will still require mining stakeholders concerned to pay the renewal fee and MGB to review their applications, he added. Unlike the existing renewal process, he said documentary requirements in the DAO are minimal but stakeholders must submit these 60 days before their respective exploration periods expire. "If all's well with their applications, they'll be automatically renewed," he said. According to Deleña, preparations are already underway for the DAO's publication in a newspaper of general circulation and submission to the University of the Philippines Office of the National Administrative Register. "We're hoping to have the DAO published in a few days," he said. MGB said of the Philippines' total land area of 30 million hectares, some nine million hectares have high mineral potential. However, only 2.42 percent of the country's total land area was covered by mining tenements as of May 31, 2020, noted MGB. The country's primary mineral commodities are gold, nickel and nickel products as well as copper, MGB said. Available MGB data showed mining contributed some PHP102.3 billion to the country's gross domestic product last year. National and local taxes, fees, and royalties from mining totaled PHP25.52 billion during the said period, MGB added.

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Philippine Resources - August 05, 2022

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Mining

Philippine Resources - August 04, 2022

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Mining

Philippine Resources - August 04, 2022

Diokno banks on mining for sustained economic recovery, expansion

Photo credit: PNA - Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the mining industry is a potential source of sustained economic growth as he underscored the benefit of mobilizing investments for mine development. “The mining industry holds the greatest potential to be a key driver in our economic recovery and long-term growth, especially now that world metal prices are high. The Philippines, after all, is one of the world’s most richly endowed countries in terms of mineral resources,” he said Wednesday at the listing of Philex Mining Corporation’s (Philex) common shares in the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE). Philex is mobilizing investments for the development of its Silangan underground copper-gold mine in Surigao del Norte. In a disclosure to the PSE, the company said it is offering a maximum of 842 million common shares at the rate of one offer share for every 5.8674 shares owned for PHP3.15 each to raise a total of PHP2.652 billion new equity. The stocks rights offering (SRO) period started on July 12, 2022 and ended July 25, 2022. The Silangan project, considered one of the biggest copper-gold mines in the country, is planned to be mined in two phases. The first phase has a mineable ore reserve of 81 million metric tonnes which will be mined for 22 years at a rate of 4 million tonnes per year. The mine is targeted to commence commercial operations in the first quarter of 2025. Diokno said Philex’ SRO listing demonstrates the mining industry’s confidence in the country’s promising economic growth prospects.   He said the offering means more jobs will be created, local economies will be reinvigorated, and additional revenues will be contributed to the government.  The Department of Finance (DOF) estimates that the project will generate around PHP8.5 billion in excise taxes alone for its entire mine life. Diokno said the listing sends a strong signal to the mining industry that the country's capital markets are viable instruments for fast tracking the development of large mining projects.   He said the Marcos administration is committed to continue creating an enabling environment for mining activities to flourish in the country as he looks forward to similar listings in the future. “We recognize that apart from boosting local development, mining is a strong magnet for investments that can propel our economy into a higher growth trajectory,” he added. Diokno said the government expects the mining industry to strictly adhere to responsible and sustainable mining practices.  He said the mining industry should strike a balance between protecting the environment, uplifting local communities, and supporting the government’s socioeconomic agenda. “This is a non-negotiable condition so we can guarantee the sustainability of the industry and the strong economic growth of its host communities,” he said.    Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency

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