Team to review mining activities

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Sunday, January 5, 2014


TO ensure compliance with environmental laws, the Mines and Geosciences-Central Visayas (MGB-7) will create a 10-member multi-stakeholder team (MST) to assess mining activities in Central Visayas.

The MST was organized last Dec. 23 during a meeting presided by MGB 7 Director Loreto Alburo.

“The intention as expressly stated in Executive Order (EO) 79 is to review the performance of existing mining operations and cleanse non-moving mining rights holders, said Alburo.

Mining Rights
CEBU. More than 2.6 percent of the total land area in Central Visayas is covered by mining rights. Cebu has the most number of mining claim instruments, including mineral production sharing agreements such as those covered by Carmen Copper in Toledo City. (Sun.Star File Photo)


He said the move aims to ensure the sustainable use and proper management of minerals.

The MST, headed by MGB, is composed of representatives of the Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Agriculture,
Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Social Welfare and Development, National Commission on the Indigenous People (NCIP) and the four provinces of Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor and Negros Oriental.

Guidelines

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 Executive Director Isabelo Montejo said the review will be based on guidelines and parameters provided under mining contracts and agreements, the Mining Act of 1995 and the Labor Code.

Montejo said those who violate regulations will be penalized as recommended in the MST’s report.

In a Dec. 20 report, the Mines Management Division of MGB 7 said there are about 48 mining rights holders in Region 7 and Cebu has the highest with 40; followed by Negros Oriental, five; Bohol, two; and Siquijor, one.

These claims cover 39,707.44 hectares and represent 2.66 percent of the region’s total land area of 1,492,185 hectares.

Rights

Of the 48 mining rights holders, about 41 are mineral production sharing agreements (MPSAs); four are exploration permits; and three are lease contracts.

EO 70, signed last July 6, 2012 by President Benigno Aquino III, institutionalizes and implements reforms in the country's mining sector.

The EO also reinforces environmental protection measures, promotes responsible mining, provides a more equitable revenue-sharing scheme, and provides coordinative mechanisms among stakeholders, including LGUs, said Montejo. (EOB)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 05, 2014.

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