THE Regional Minerals Development Council (RMDC) 7 has passed a resolution, enjoining local government units (LGUs) to support the revitalization of the minerals industry in Central Visayas.
The RMDC 7 noted that some LGUs oppose and object to large-scale mining rights applications now pending before the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB). The LGUs even passed an ordinance banning mining operations in their areas.
MGB 7 Director Roger De Dios said Department of Justice Opinion 8, series of 2005, states that the “freedom to exercise contrary views does not mean that local governments may actually enact ordinances that go against laws enacted by Congress, such as Republic Act (RA) 7942 or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995.
“The Minerals Development Council (MDC) clarifies its position in response to LGU ordinances and resolutions imposing mo-ratorium on mining (in their areas),” De Dios said.
The Philippine Mining Act of 1995 gives to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) the responsibility of conserving, managing, developing and properly using the state’s mineral resources, De Dios said.
The MDC memorandum states that “the enforcement of RA 7942 on large-scale mining is retained with the National Government and is not within the ordinance-making power of the local legislative bodies.
The MDC was created by Executive Order 469, series of 2005, with the prime responsibility of advancing the government policy of responsible and sustainable development of the country’s mineral resources.
De Dios said the Local Government Code provides that the enforcement of forestry laws, pollution control law, small-scale mining law and other laws on the protection of the environment, shall be pursuant to national policies and subject to supervision, control and review of the DENR.
The 12 municipalities in Central Visayas that have passed ordinances or resolutions opposing mining are Loon, Maribojoc, Duero, Guil-dulman and Buenavista in Bohol; Con-solacion and Medellin in Cebu; and Maria, Siquijor, Enrique Villanueva, San Juan and Larena in Si-quijor.