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MPSA granted to Semirara, door opens for more projects after issuance of E.O. No. 130

by Marcelle P. Villegas - July 24, 2022

[The infographics posted by MGB shows the significant economic contributions of mining in the Philippine economy for the past two years.]

Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) announced on 10 March 2022 that the DENR has granted MPSA 352-2022-VI to DMCI Holdings, Inc., a subsidiary of Semirara Mining and Power Corp. (SMPC). The MPSA is for SMPC’s Hamalian Limestone Project which is located at Semirara Island in Caluya, Antique. The project covers an area of 3,807.0571-hectares. This MPSA now gives SMPC the exclusive rights to begin mining operations within the contract for a period of 25 years. This is renewable for the like period. [1]

The MPSA that was granted to SMPC is the first that was issued by the Philippine government since 2012. When E.O. No. 130 was signed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte on 14 April 2021, this amends the provision of Section 4 of E.O. No. 79 which was issued by former President Benigno S. Aquino III in 2012. (Former President Aquino’s E.O. No. 79 prohibits the grant of mineral agreements “until a new legislation rationalizing existing revenue sharing schemes and mechanisms shall have taken effect.”) Therefore, the implementation of E.O. No. 130 effectively ends the nine-year moratorium on new mining projects, and allows the government to enter into new mineral agreements, but still subject to compliance with the Philippine Mining Act of 1995, and other applicable laws, rules, and regulations. [2]

Mineral Production and Sharing Agreement (MPSA) is one of the different types of Tenurial Permits/Agreements. This agreement is executed by the DENR Secretary and the contractor. The MPSA holder is then granted by the Philippine government the exclusive right to conduct mining operations within a contract area. The share of the Philippine government is in the form of excise tax equivalent to a percentage of the gross output.

MGB director Wilfredo Moncano said that the lifting of the ban on new mining projects gives the mining industry the opportunity to boost its economic contribution for the country and to help in the national recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to MGB, the gross value added in mining contributions reached to P120.4 billion in 2021. This is higher than P102.3 billion from 2020. [2]

From MGB’s social media post on economic contribution of mining, they stated, “The Philippine government commits that a proposed mining project will only be allowed if technically feasible, environmentally compliant, socially acceptable, and financially viable. [If] any of these imperatives are absent, [then] it is not time to mine.”

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Reference:

[1] Mining Tenements Management Division, DENR-MGB (18 March 2022). "DENR grants first MPSA after the issuance of EO 130".

Retrieved from -

https://mgb.gov.ph/2015-05-13-02-02-11/mgb-news/1150-denr-grants-first-mpsa-after-the-issuance-of-eo-130

[2] Talavera, Catherine (20 March 2022). "Government grants new permit for mining, 1st since 2012". The Philippine Star.

Retrieved from - https://www.philstar.com/business/2022/03/20/2168477/government-grants-new-permit-mining-1st-2012

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Infographics: From Mines and Geosciences Bureau Facebook page

To know more about #MineResponsibility, visit www.mgb.gov.ph.


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