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Luzon Regional Mining Workshop tackles 14 major issues on mining
Region V sends 13 delegates

Fourteen major issues crucial to the development of the country’s Mining Industry were discussed recently in a two-day Luzon Regional Mining Workshop held at the VenusParkview Hotel in Baguio City.

Regional Director Reynulfo A. Juan of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB-V) here said these 14 major issues on mining are the highlights of the two-day Regional Mining Workshop (RMW) and is crucial to the development of a National Action Agenda on mining and to the refinement of the National Minerals Policy (NMP).

Juan identified the 14 major issues as: 1) rehabilitation of abandoned inactive mines; 2) role of mining in sustainable development; 3) the capability of the minerals industry to be self-regulating in the future including the issues of social responsibility and voluntary initiatives; 4) impacts of mining and mineral exploration to the natural human environments including defining what are considered “best practices” and the management of mine wastes and tailings; 5) perceived conflict between minerals resources development and protected areas/bio-diversity conservation; 6) artisanal, traditional, and small-scale mining including the issues of women, child labor and social equity; 7) dislocation/resettlement of local and indigenous communities including militarization, human rights and just compensation; 8) extent of public participation in mineral resources development projects; 9) the role of mining in the context of local, regional, and national economic growth and development and the sharing of benefits of mining among major stakeholders; 10) integrated mineral resources development and value adding; 11) moratorium on large-scale mining and mineral exploration; 12) government support, capability of the government to implement the law, apparent conflicts between national and local legislation, corruption in the government; 13) entry of multi-national corporations including the issue on “excessive” incentives provided to them; and 14) perceived interference of international institutions in terms of policy development and funding of local mining projects.

“These issues were identified and culled from the NMP consultations conducted nationwide and from position papers submitted to the MGB by various groups” he added.

"The RMW is part of the Philippine Mining Workshop and Conference (PMWC) spearheaded by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Mines and Geosciences Bureau in cooperation with the United States Agency for International Development” Juan pointed out.

 He explained the NMP is a policy document envisioned to be the mining and minerals sector’s equivalent of the Philippine Agenda 21 – the Philippine framework on sustainable development and part of social preparation being undertaken by the DENR-MGB in line with the administration’s thrust to revitalize the minerals industry.

Region V, aside from RD Juan, was represented by Mining Environment and Safety Division (MESD) Chief Sulpicio B. Bernardo III and Senior Science Research Specialist (SSRS) Elsa D. Rejoso of MGB-V; Leodegario Binco of the Rapu-Rapu based Sagip-Isla, Sagip-Kapwa, Inc.; Manuel Querubin of Kapisanan Ng Mga Kaibigan Ng Kapaligiran, Kagubatan, at Karagatan, Inc. (KKKKK); Jose S. Esteves, Chairman of the Bicol Chamber of Mines and Vice-Chair of the Regional Development Council (RDC); Carlito L. Aparri of Ibalong Resources and Development Corporation/Goodfound Cement Corporation (IRDC/GCC); Roderick D. Watt of Lafayette Phils. Inc.; Maximo Gueriña, Florentino Flores, and Florence Flores representing the small-scale miners in Camarines Norte and Legazpi City, respectively; David Cua and Paul Badiola of ENRO Albay and Camarines Norte, respectively.

“The Luzon RMW was held on September 15 and 16, 2003 and covered mining stakeholders from Region I to V including the Cordilera Administrative Region (CAR), the Visayas RMW on September 19 to 20 in Cebu City and covered mining stakeholders from Regions VI to VIII while Surigao City hosted on September 23 to 24 the Mindanao RMW for Regions IX to XII and Caraga. Capping the workshop would be the National Mining Conference slated in Manila on November 10 and 11” Juan further said. 

Republic of the Philippines-Dept. of Environment & Natural Resources -Mines and Geosciences Bureau Region V,

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