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MGB’s Mining Updates on Proposed Revisions of Existing Mining Laws

1 April 2019 - Atty. Danilo U. Uykieng, Acting Assistant Director of Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) during the Philippine Mining and Exploration Association - Monthly Membership Meeting at Manila Elks Club, Makati City (Photo by Marcelle P. Villegas, Philippine Resources Journal)

1 April 2019 - Philippine Mining and Exploration Association, for their Monthly Membership Meeting at Manila Elks Club, Makati City, presented the “Mining Updates and Open Forum Discussion on Proposed Revisions of Existing Mining Laws”.

The topic was discussed and reported by Atty. Danilo U. Uykieng, Acting Assistant Director of Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB). The meeting started with a review of recent policies that were signed in 2017 onwards. Here is a rundown of policies and its development, plus a summary of events that transpired and affected the Philippine mining operations.

A Review of Recent Policies

Oct. 9, 2017 - Memorandum was issued by MGB Director providing "streamlined" checklists of requirements of various mining applications.

May 25, 2018 - MGB Memorandum Circular No. 2018-01 was issued in re: Guidelines in the Conduct of Apprehension, Seizure, Confiscation and Disposition of Illegally Sourced Minerals/Mineral Products and By-Products, Tools, Conveyances and Equipment Used.

June 18, 2018 - Issued DENR Memorandum Circular No. 2018-05 in re: Non-Coverage of Small-Scale Mining Projects from the Department Memorandum Order No. 2016-01.

July 3, 2018 - DENR Administrative Order No. 2018-13 in re: Lifting of the Moratorium on the Acceptance, Processing and/or Approval of Applications for Exploration Permit Under Department Memorandum Order No. 2016-01.

July 3, 2018 - Issued MGB Memorandum Circular No. 2018-02 in re: Guidance for Compliance Monitoring and Rating/Scorecard of Mining Permits/Contracts.

July 17, 2018 - DENR Administrative Order No. 2018-20 in re: Providing for a New Guidelines in the Evaluation and Approval of the Three-Year Development/Utilization Work Program

Aug. 17, 2018 - Issued DENR Administrative Order No. 2018-19 in re: Guidelines for Additional Environmental Measures for Operating Surface Metallic Mines

March 2019 Policy Issuance

1) MGB Memorandum Circular re: Clarification Guidelines on Industrial Sand and Gravel Permit

~ Providing for clarification on the coverage of ISAGP i.e. permit area

2) MGB Memorandum Circular re: Supplemental Guidelines to MGB MC 2018-01 Otherwise known as Guidelines in the Apprehension, Seizure, Confiscation and Disposition of Illegally Sourced Minerals/Mineral Products and By-Products, Tools, Conveyances and Equipment Used

~ Additional provisions for conveyance, release, posting of bond, establishment of confiscation panel

3) MGB Memorandum Order re: Guidelines for Care and Maintenance Programs for Mining Projects

~ Provides for the mandatory submission of a CMP

~ Assures fund allocation

~ Provides for penalties for certain violations

4) DENR Administrative Order re: Guidelines on the Disposition of Residual Stockpiles Sourced from Small-Scale Mining Operations Previously Covered by Valid Mining Permits Issued Pursuant to PD 1899 and Temporary Small-Scale Mining Contracts under DAO 2012-07.

~ Provides clear guidelines on the disposition procedures and timelines

- - -

Recent Inter-Agency Coordination

Joint Memorandum Circular: Guidelines on the Issuance of Clearance and/or Permit for Dredging within Waterways or other Inland Body or Water.

~ Provides for a standard and uniform procedures in the approval of dredging/mining permit

Policy Directions:

Guiding Principle - Ours is a Responsible Mining that is:

1) People-Oriented as it provides decent jobs and benefit host communities

Upcoming Policy Issuances:

~ Expediting the approval of Minahang Bayan and processing of SSM Contracts

~ Ensuring timely release of the share of LGUs

~ Ensure increasing LGUs' share and granting them direct access similar to existing arrangements with the PEZA

2) It Protects and Enhances the Environment

Upcoming Policy Issuances:

~ Strict monitoring of the shipments of ores/minerals

~ Strict implementation of Water Code and NWRB policies on the use of water in mining operations

~ Strict enforcing ban on black sand mining in coastal areas

3) Equipped with Strong Monitoring and Enforcement System

Upcoming Policy Issuances:

~ Strengthening of the Environmental National Task Force to stop illegal mining and environmental violations

~ Use of modern technology in monitoring mine operations

~ Blacklisting of irresponsible mining companies with major violations

~ Cleansing of non-moving mining rights holders and review of existing mineral agreement for renegotiation of the terms and conditions

~ Strengthening of the Multipartite Monitoring Team (MMT)

~ Imposing one-strike policy to DENR officials for inability to monitor and take immediate actions on major violations

4) It Contributes and Promotes fair share to the National Income

Upcoming Policy Issuances:

~ Amend EO 79 - lifting the moratorium on the grant of Mineral Agreement (MPSA)

~ Declaring high mineral potential areas as mineral reservations including all existing operating mines

~ Promoting establishment of mineral processing plants in the country

~ Mandatory mineral processing of all nickel ore

~ Finalizing the national program and road map for the development of value-adding activities and downstream industries for strategic metallic ores

5) World Class, efficient, effective and competitive

Upcoming Policy Issuances:

~ Adoption of new technology to maximize mineral ore utilization and environment protection

~ Requiring all operating mines to have ISO certifications

~ Options and alternatives on open pit mining methods


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