Iloilo City – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) under the leadership of Secretary Regina Paz L. Lopez issued a draft Department Administrative Order (DAO) requiring mining contractors and permit holders with operations under care and maintenance to establish the Final Mine Rehabilitation and Decommissioning Fund (FMRDF).The proposed DAO will have the subject “Amendments to the Consolidated Administrative Order for the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 7942, the Philippine Mining Act of 1995.”
The proposed DAO will have the subject “Amendments to the Consolidated Administrative Order for the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 7942, the Philippine Mining Act of 1995.”
The major sections of the proposed policy read:
“Pursuant to Section 275 of Department Administrative Order (DAO) No. 2010-21, the Consolidated DAO for the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 7942, the Philippine Mining Act of 1995, the following amendments to the aforesaid DAO are hereby promulgated for the guidance and compliance of all concerned:
Section 1. Section 187-B (The Final Mine Rehabilitation and Decommissioning Fund) thereof is hereby amended to include as last paragraph the requirement that Contractors and Permit Holders with suspended mining operations or which operations are in care and maintenance status shall likewise establish the Final Mine Rehabilitation and Decommissioning Fund (FMRDF). This is consistent with Section 71 of the Mining Act, which requires Contractors and Permittees to create a mine rehabilitation fund, to be used for the physical and social rehabilitation of areas and communities affected by mining activities and for research on the social, technical, and preventive aspects of the rehabilitation. It is also clear that between an operating mine and a mine under care and maintenance, the latter is closer to the probability of facing mine closure and, therefore that the FMRDF is needed in order to ensure that there is enough fund for final mine rehabilitation.
As such, Section 187-B shall read as follows:
‘Section 18-B. The Final Mine Rehabilitation and Decommissioning Fund
In accordance with Section 71 of RA No. 7942 and item f, Section 1 of Executive Order No. 270-A, a Final Mine Rehabilitation and Decommissioning Fund (FMRDF) shall be established by each operating Contractor/Permit Holder to ensure that the full cost of the approved FMR/DP is accrued before the end of the operating life of the mine. The FMRDF shall be deposited as a trust fund in a Government depository bank and shall be used solely for the implementation of the approved FMR/DP.
Based on the expected mine life, the initial annual cash provision shall be made to the MRF Committee within sixty (60) days from the date of the FMR/DP’s approval and every anniversary date thereafter: Provided, That on application by the Contractor/Permit Holder, the MRF Committee may allow a later date for the payment of the first annual provision: Provided, further, That in the case of Contractors/Permit Holders who have been operating while their FMR/DPs are undergoing evaluation by the MRF Committee or CLRF Steering Committee, each of the said Contractors/Permit Holders shall immediately establish the FMRDF based on the cost of the proposed FMR/DP and in accordance with the above schedule of annual cash provisions, subject to adjustment following the cost of the eventually approved FMR/DP.
A Contractor/Permit Holder with a suspended mining operation or which operation is in a care and maintenance status shall likewise establish the FMRDF and comply with all the pertinent rules and regulations as provided herein, including the immediate submission of the EPEP with the integrated FMR/DP, among others.’”
According to the Regional Director Leo Van V. Juguan, CESO V of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) DENR Regional Office 6, the DENR Secretary instructed the MGB DENR Regional Offices to disseminate the proposed policy to the public. RD JUguan further added that currently, there are no large-scale mine operations in Western Visayas nor are there any on care and maintenance status. (IEC, MGB DENR RO-6)