Philippines Joins in Sustainable Mineral Development Path at the 9th AMMin and 23rd ASOMM

By: Philippine Resources December 18, 2023

Engr. Teodorico A. Sandoval of the DENR-MGB representing the country’s head of delegation in the 23rd ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Minerals (ASOMM)

As the Philippines’ leading government agency for mining and geosciences, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) joined in the 9th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Minerals (AMMin) and 23rd ASEAN Senior Officials on Minerals Meeting (ASOMM) that took place in Phnom Penh, Cambodia from November 21 to 23 under the theme "Advancing ASEAN as a Sustainable Minerals Investment Destination."

The AMMin, consisting of ASEAN Ministers responsible for minerals, is the highest policy-making body for ASEAN cooperation in the sector.  AMMin sets the policy directions and meets on a biennial basis. The Ministerial Understanding established the future basis of cooperation which aimed to:

  1. develop the minerals sector to be an engine for greater economic growth and social progress in the ASEAN region;
  2. enhance trade and investment in the ASEAN minerals sector; and 
  3. promote environmentally sound and socially responsible mineral development practices. 

The ASOMM is the main operating arm of the AMMin and oversees the working groups that assist the Senior Officials in the development and implementation of sectoral policies as well as the work programs/plans under the four (4) ASEAN Minerals Cooperation Action Plan strategic areas. 

Four (4) Working Groups focus on implementing the sector’s four strategic areas of cooperation.  These are:

  • Working Group on Trade and Investments in Minerals (WGTIM);
  • Working Group on Sustainable Minerals Development (WGSMD); 
  • Working Group on Capacity Building on Minerals (WGCBM); and
  • Working Group on Minerals Information and Database (WGMID).

The 23rd ASOMM started with the ASEAN Secretariat (ASEC) presenting the highlights of the decisions and follow-up requirements from the ASEAN Summit, ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Council, Committee of the Whole of the AEC (CoW), and other council affiliates. On the other hand, the Chairs of the WGTIM (Thailand); the WGSMD (Myanmar), the  WGCBM (Philippines represented by Dr. Karlo L. Queaño, OIC of the Lands Geological Survey Division-MGB); and the WGMID (Brunei Darussalam) reported key accomplishments for the 4th quarter of 2022 and 3rd quarter of 2023, following the action lines set for each program.

The Board of Judges (BOJ) Meeting for the 3rd ASEAN Mineral Awards (AMA) was also conducted in parallel to the 23rd ASOMM. T

he AMA aims to: promote environmentally and socially sustainable mineral development; improve the general perception image of the mineral industry; disseminate best practices in the mineral sector (mining, transportation, processing); increase public awareness on best practices in environmentally and socially sustainable mineral development; strengthen regional cooperation and encourage sharing of expertise; and encourage private sector perception for community development. The said meeting discussed the rules and procedures of the scoring scheme of the presentations from the shortlisted companies; the presentation of shortlisted companies in front of BOJ; and the discussion on the outcomes of the tabulation of the scoring sheets.

During the high-level ministerial meeting (AMMin) last November 23, 2023, the country representatives agreed to jointly promote the ASEAN region to become a sustainable mining investment destination and to continue cooperation on improving mining development with governance. During the country report presentation, the Philippines, represented by Ms. Emma R. Sarne, Minister, and Consul General of the Embassy of the Philippines in Cambodia, highlighted the immense potential of the mining industry to become a major economic driver for the Philippines and Southeast Asia and the country’s efforts and plans aimed to ease doing mine-related business as it also transitions to adopting green technology.

With the Plus Three Countries (China, Japan and the Republic of Korea), the Meeting also welcomed the adoption of the ASEAN+3 Minerals Cooperation Work Plan 2022-2025, which serves as a blueprint to intensify cooperation between ASEAN and the Plus Three Countries in sustainable minerals development and in supporting the development of new strategies and effective tools for collecting and processing data for the ASEAN Mineral Information System.

Finally, the event was concluded with the awarding of the winners of the 3rd AMA during the AMMin Gala Dinner. The awardees include one (1) from Brunei Darussalam, one (1) from Cambodia, four (4) from Indonesia, three (3) from Lao PDR, two (2) from Malaysia, and three (3) from the Philippines.

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