THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Mines and Geosciences Bureau (DENR-MGB)-6 regional office hosted a training-workshop last Feb 7, 2019 to reorient quarry, small-scale mining and sand and gravel (commercial and industrial) operators in the region on the latest policies and standards of the agency.
The training-workshop was held at the Iloilo Grand Hotel.
MGB-6 Regional Director Roger A. de Dios said that the aim of the meeting is to improve and strengthen the implementation of laws and policies on mining and quarrying operations by educating permit holders.
“This is a good venue to streamline all the policies governing quarry, and industrial sand and small-scale mining operations,” de Dios said.
Among the six provinces in Western Visayas, 73 sand and gravel, quarry and small-scalemining permit holders attended the meeting. Quarry, commercial sand and gravel, industrial sand and gravel (5 hectares and below) and small-scale mining permits are issued by the local government, particularly the province under the local government code.
Meanwhile, the local government and the DENR, MGB maintain a coordinative function to ensure that mining laws and regulations are strictly implemented as provided by the Mining Act of 1995.
A pool of MGB RO-6 technical resource persons presented the flow and guidelines of the application process, environmental, community relations, social development and reportorial requirements, and the legal grounds for cancellation of permits and penal provisions.
“In implementing environmental and social development programs, one very significant aspect of the law is the requirement of environmental and social guarantee funds to ensure that plans are translated into work programs with corresponding funds to ensure that these are implemented. What is perhaps needed is to have programs that have more impact on our environmental protection efforts and to the development of host and neighboring communities,” de Dios added.
De Dios urged the participants to look at the current state of the implementation of mining and quarrying regulations at the small-scale level.
The permit holders discussed during the workshop how to standardize the computation of fees and taxes which will be elevated to the Provincial Mining Regulatory Board in each province for possible adoption in their respective ordinances.(MGB-6)