Mining firms told to follow strict GCQ shipment protocol
The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) has revealed what a “new normal” would be like for the mining sector and it would include strict quarantine protocols for all minerals shipments as well as setting up of disinfection areas in cargo vessels.
In memorandum 004, MGB had set the guidelines for the resumption of mining and mineral processing operations during the general community quarantine (GCQ) period.
This is in line with the Omnibus Guidelines for the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines, dated April 29, 2020, of the country’s Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID), which allows min¬ing under GCQ.
President Rodrigo Duterte only placed the National Capital Region (NCR) under GCQ starting today (June 1), but the government already eased the lockdown protocols in some provinces as early as the third week of May.
MGB said that its “guidelines cover all measures to ensure the safety and health of the people who will return to the mining workforce during the pandemic.”
In terms of shipment, cargo vessels must observe 14-day quarantine starting from their departure at the last port of call.
Upon arrival of the vessel and completion of the 14 days, it shall be boarded at the designated quarantine anchorage area for quarantine clearance pursuant to the guidelines set by the Bureau of Quarantine of the Department of Health.
Quarantine inspection shall be strictly observed and only upon clearance from the Quarantine Medical Officer.
Holding and disinfection area shall likewise be established to cater for stevedoring agents and mining company representatives who shall board and disembark from the vessel.
For the purpose of transporting minerals and their by-products, miners should also provide, during the field validation of at least once a month by the MGB’s Regional Office, information such as validity of the pertinent mining permit and contract, grade, source of the minerals, estimated volume and the value of the said mineral commodity.
Miners are also expected to provide in its shipment report additional information such as crew list, port of origin, and COVID-19 test results of the crew.
And then, they are required to submit the shipment monitoring/ draft survey report that includes pertinent shipment documents, pictures with geotag and dated video recording of the first and the last day of the said shipment.
MGB also ordered mining companies to provide the necessary medical equipment, and supplies and materials such as thermal scanners, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves and sanitizers and disinfectants to their employees.