MANILA, Philippines — As a response to the mining sector’s commitment on responsible minerals development, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources is pushing for a faster processing of permits for the extraction of mineral deposits in the country.
“We will streamline administrative processes in evaluating and issuing mineral agreements, exercise transparency in receiving contributions from the mining industry, and encourage investments in minerals processing, among others,” Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said.
Cimatu’s response is a commitment to the recent undertaking of the government and the mining industry, through the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP), that would promote responsible minerals development.
The proposal to rationalize requirements for various mining application permits is also in line with President Duterte’s call to reduce red tape in the government.
The streamlining applies to applications for Exploration Permit (EP), Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA), Declaration of Mining Project Feasibility (DMPF), Mineral Processing Permit (MPP), Industrial Sand and Gravel Permit (ISGP), Operating Agreement (OA), and Deed of Assignment for MPSA (DOA).
The Mining Tenements Management Division of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) recently held a workshop on the standardization of the processing of mining applications and field validation.
The MGB earlier said it would continue to pursue long-term and stable environmental policies that would focus on the utilization of the country’s mineral deposits.
The DENR and the COMP agreed to improve the image of the mining sector and address the concerns about disregard for the environment and welfare of local communities.
The local industry agreed to prioritize the uplifting of the lives of residents of host communities through employment or livelihood opportunities while integrating social and environmental concerns with mining operations.
It will also consider the environment in every stage of a mining operation, including mitigation, progressive rehabilitation, third-party monitoring, and restoration of mined-out areas into land that would be viable for other uses.
Reprinted from: The Philippine Star dated January 1, 2018