DENR to resolve Lopez MPSA cancellations
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is set to clear a majority of the 75 mineral production sharing agreements (MPSAs) that were cancelled by former secretary Gina Lopez as the government slowly opens up again to the mining industry.
Environment Undersecretary for Mining Analiza Teh said the government would soon clear most of the 75 mining contracts issued show-cause orders two years ago during the tenure of Lopez.
“A majority of that will be cleared. Because the guideline there is that they have been issued with area clearance before their MPSAs were processed,” Teh told The STAR in an interview.
“In the first place, they will not be given their MPSA if they are really within proclaimed watersheds because their areas need to be plotted carefully,” she said.
In 2017, Lopez revoked 37 MPSAs in Mindanao, 27 in Luzon and 11 in the Visayas which are either under exploratory stages or for possible developments.
An MPSA is an agreement wherein the government shares in the production of the contractor, whether in kind or in value, as the owner of the minerals, and the contractor gets the rest. In return, the contractor provides the necessary financing, technology, management and personnel for the mining project.
“Until now, the review is ongoing in our regional offices. The reason they were issued show cause orders because according to Lopez, they exist within the watersheds,” Teh said.
“But the law actually requires that they should be within ‘proclaimed’ watersheds. Now, I already ordered our regions to submit their report soon,” she said.
Teh said the DENR is also ready to face possible cases against the department once they release the clearance for the MPSAs.
“Yes, the DENR can be sued for damages because the move may have affected their reputation, their stocks in the market, things like that,” she said.
Among the big MPSAs that have been affected include the subsidiary of Pangilinan-led Philex Mining Corp, Silangan Mindanao Mining Co. Inc., and its other MPSAs in Surigao, Zamboanga, and Negros, as well as TVI Resources Development Phils. and Kingking Mining Corp. of Benguet Corp.
Read more at https://www.philstar.com/business/2019/04/15/1910007/denr-resolve-lopez-mpsacancellationfbclid=IwAR36sxvb2ROzlRIJK5Jdo4Aec1Wi9RhIVyg9hwrTTxTnDgVBMJrc0D4Vhho#7zmMkTbU3KRM1zRY.99