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Monday, 7 August 2023

Minahang Bayan strengthens responsible small scale mining practices

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte -- The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Regional Office No. XIII underlined the revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Republic Act (RA) No. 7076 otherwise known as the People’s Small Scale Mining Act of 1991, during the 1st Caraga Resilient Mining Week celebration recently held in Surigao City.

MGB 13 Regional Director Engineer Larry M. Heradez explained the Department Administrative Order (DAO) No. 2022-03 issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources or the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Republic Act (RA) No. 7076.

He said the revised IRR aims toward a more effective and expeditious implementation of the People’s Small-Scale Mining Act as it provides a more detailed and organized procedural guidelines on the registration and licensing of small-scale miners, as well as the declaration of People’s Small-Scale Mining dubbed as “Minahang Bayan,” which includes the establishment of mineral processing zones and the application for small-scale mining contracts and mineral processing license.

It also promotes responsible small-scale mining and enforces accountability to various issues and concerns tagged with the said industry, particularly on safety, environmental protection and social development.

In addition to the usual submission and implementation of Annual Safety and Health Program, Potential Environmental Impact Management Plan (PEIMP) and Community Development and Management Plan (CDMP), DAO No. 2022-03 now requires small-scale mining contractors to set-up an environmental management and social development fund equivalent to 10% of the total operating cost for the whole duration of the contract/permit or P100,000, whichever is higher, to ensure compliance with approved activities in the PEIMP and CDMP.

Dir. Heradez added, that under the said DAO, the establishment of mine wastes dump and mill tailings storage facility is also emphasized through providing clear guidelines on site selection, design, construction and payment of corresponding fees, as well as the inclusion of non-compliance of the same to the possible grounds for suspension and administrative fines. (SDR/PIA-Surigao del Norte)