DENR USec Dolino bares
new policies in mining
By PURIFICACION S. DALOOS
TACLOBAN CITY –
“Mining has been identified by our government as one of the major
focus areas of economic activity.” This was revealed by Environment
Undersecretary Jeremias Dolino when he graced the 1st Regional Mining
Stakeholders Forum in Tacloban City recently.
USec Dolino revealed
that the latest mining statistics as of July 28, 2010 show that taxes,
fees and royalties from mining nationwide amount to 9.175 billion
However, USec Dolino
was quick to admit that the mining industry in the country still faces
strong opposition from anti-mining groups. “Various oppositions to
mining have stalled the upward growth of the industry,” he laments.
“Several NGOs, the church, academe, indigenous peoples and even some
local government units have expressed very strong sentiments against
mining,” he said. USec Dolino cited that even in Region 8, the
provinces of Eastern Samar and Samar have issued a 50-year moratorium
on large scale mining.
For the mining sector
to grow and prosper, mining should now be anchored on the principles
of sustainable development to ensure that the economic, environmental
and social concerns of mining operations would be addressed.
Already, several new
policies have been issued by the DENR to make environmental management
mandatory in all stages of the mining process.
Circular 2010-14 strengthens public participation in the Environmental
Impact Assessment (EIA) process of environmentally critical projects
such as mining. Local government units have also been given
representation in the Minerals Development Council to encourage their
participation in promoting and developing socially responsible mining
in the country through Executive Order No. 469-A.
USec Dolino likewise
informed the participants of the Mining Stakeholders Forum about a
DENR-DOF-DBM-DILG Joint Circular signed on June 25 this year which
revises the guidelines on the release of the share of LGUs derived by
the national government from royalty income collected from mineral
reservations. The Joint Circular reiterates the 40% revenue share of
LGUs. From this, 20% goes to the province, 45% for the component city
or municipality and 35% for the host barangay. Meanwhile, highly
urbanized cities where the natural resources are located gets a 65%
share, while the remaining 35% goes to the host barangay.
USec Dolino announced
another positive development in mining that would benefit LGUs and
other stakeholders. This is the issuance of DENR Administrative Order
No. 2010-13 this year. The DAO requires a mining permit holder/lessee
to allot annually a minimum of 1.5% of their operating costs for
community development implementation and provide funds for
information, education and communication campaigns.
According to him,
newly installed President Benigno Aquino, Jr. encourages all sectors
involved to meet on common ground to “allay the fears and also afford
the people of the benefits of mining investments.”
He also assured the
mining stakeholders that the present government shall strictly adhere
to the principles of sustainable development even as it promotes
mining as a vehicle for economic growth.
“I promote mining, but
I have to protect the environment,” USec Dolino said.
The 1st Regional
Mining Stakeholders Forum was organized by the Regional Minerals
Development Council of Region 8 chaired by RED Primitivo C. Galinato,
Jr. in coordination with the Mines and Geosciences Bureau. It was
attended by various stakeholders of the mining industry which included
representatives of mining companies who are operating in the region,
host LGUs, the academe and the church. It was held at the Ritz Tower
de Leyte, Tacloban
on August 18, 2010.