Amended IRR of new mining policy to come out next week-A A +A
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III said Wednesday that the Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) is finalizing the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the new mining policy of his administration and it will be out next week.
In an interview in Leyte, Aquino said he met with the MICC, which is composed of the economic and environmental clusters of Cabinet, to "refine" the language of the IRR.
"We clarified it to make it consistent with the EO (Executive Order) 79 and with the Republic Act that governs the mining industry," he said. "We are removing much of the ambiguity that once made it difficult for those who want to enter mining."
The Chief Executive added that the MICC is also "working on legislation that will balance the benefits, which will allow the state a fairer share of the revenues from mining."
While he noted that the government understands the concerns of mining companies, he said that as President, it is his duty to remind everyone that minerals of the country are property of the Filipino people, thus the state must receive fair compensation from companies that profit from such resources.
In this way, he said, the government would channel any gains made from mining to projects that will directly benefit the Filipino people.
Aquino said he still has to see final draft of the IRR and he expects that the amended form will be published next week.
EO 79, which Aquino signed last July 6, gives the legal framework, and clear conditions under which mining will be allowed in the Philippines.
With the crafting of the new mining policy, the Aquino administration hopes that the new measure will generate more revenues for the government. The new EO also aims to balance out concerns on environment protection and economic gains.
Earlier, Malacañang said the MICC agreed to revise three sections of the IRR during its meeting with the President.
These sections are 3, 7, and 9, according to Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office Secretary Ramon Carandang.
Section 3 tackles definition of terms, particularly the meaning of "expired mining tenements;" Section 7, highlights the grant of mineral agreements pending new legislation; and, Section 9 refers to the opening of areas for mining through competitive public bidding.
The revisions were unanimously agreed upon by the members of the MICC, including Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo, Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon Paje, Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, Presidential Assistant for Climate Change Elisea Gozon, and PCDSPO Secretary Carandang and representatives of the Department of Justice and the Office of the Solicitor General. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)