DENR firm on Minahang Bayan to limit small-scale mining operations

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is willing to streamline the process for the application of “Minahang Bayan”  but maintains the need to limit small-scale mining operation within a designated area as mandated by Executive Order (EO) 79 and consistent with Republic Act 7076, or the People’s Small-Scale Mining Act.

An amendment to the implementing rules and regulations of the People’s Small-Scale Mining Act has been identified as a priority by the DENR to address policy gaps affecting the minerals development sector.

Issuance of mining permit for small-scale mining is done only after a Minahang Bayan is declared. But the process is seen as very tedious which tend to slow down small-scale mining activities.

Environment Undersecretary for Climate Change and Mining Concerns Analiza R. Teh, who spoke on government’s way forward for the mining industry during the ongoing Mining Philippines 2019 Conference and Exhibition, said there are insinuations that small-scale mining should be allowed outside Minahang Bayan.

“During the recent budget hearing in the House of Representatives, the issue of Minahang Bayan was brought up. Because the process in declaring Minahang Bayan is very tedious,” Teh recalled.

In response, Teh said the DENR can streamline the process but to regulate small-scale mining activities, the declaration of Minahang Bayan is a must to regulate the sector and ensure environmental protection.

“Under EO 79, we stopped the issuance of small-scale mining permit. A requirement is having a declared Minahang Bayan—which requires an approved environmental compliance  certificate [ECC],” she said.

Meanwhile, one of the requirements under the People’s Small-Scale Mining Act is also the need to secure the so-called Free, Prior and Informed Consent, she said.

To streamline the process, she said they are thinking of requiring ECC after a mining permit has been issued “which signals the start of actual mining operation.”

“There are other processes we are looking at to streamline the process of approving Minahang Bayan application,” she said.

Currently, there are only 29 declared Minahang Bayan in the country.  There are around 300,000 to 500,000 small-scale miners who depend on small-scale mining as a source of income and livelihood.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Article

DILG official says National ID should include DNA record

Next Article

Profits of Metro Manila hotels rising–STR

Related Posts

Read more

Amid talent supply gap, PEZA, IBPAP close ranks

THE Philippine Economic Zone Authority said it is collaborating with the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (Ibpap) on plans to attract foreign direct investments (FDI) in the country, which Peza deems an “essential tool” for the country’s growth and development.