Iloilo City – The Mines and Geosciences Bureau, Regional Office 6 (MGB RO-6) conducted a training workshop for the Provincial Mining Regulatory Boards (PMRB) of the six provinces in Region 6 on March 26, 2019 at the District 21 Hotel, Iloilo City to strengthen the implementation of the MGB devolved functions.
Members of the PMRBs from the six provinces and personnel involved in the processing of applications attended the training.
MGB RO-6 Regional Director Roger A. de Dios said that the training-workshop is seen as a venue to capacitate the local government on the different processes and requirements for sand and gravel, quarry and small scale mining permits which are being issued by the province in light of the devolution of functions.
“We need to agree on standards and harmonize the implementation of existing policies,” RD de Dios said. MGB RO-6 proposes for the streamlining of procedures and requirements for LGU-issued permits to facilitate ease of doing business. He emphasizes that simpler, clearer and streamlined processes and procedures will also pave the way for stronger monitoring of compliance to government regulations. At the same time, this will also result to increase in government revenues. Accurate and timely data on revenue collection and employment as far as the mining and quarrying industry is concerned to capture the whole picture of its relevance to economic growth.
Presently, the region has recorded five non-metallic mineral commodities being mined or extracted such as basalt, limestone, ordinary earth products, sand and gravel, and boulders. Currently, sand and gravel extracts has the biggest share accounting to about 76% followed by ordinary earth at sixteen percent (16%) and only eight percent (8%) comprise of limestone products, basalt products and boulders in terms of production.
A pool of technical resource persons from MGB and EMB regional offices tackled the following topics: ECC processing and compliance, processing of area clearance/status, evaluation of environmental and social development programs, guidelines in the issuance of mineral processing permit, guidelines in the issuance of certificates to accredited dealers, traders and retailers of minerals/mineral products, submission of statistical reports and penal provisions and ground for cancellation of permits.
A situation where there is excessive and unregulated extraction of aggregates along the riverbanks can lead to degradation and depletion of resources, thereby shortage given the high demand for aggregates to supply construction projects.
RD de Dios encouraged the PMRBs to further discuss and propose through resolutions ways to streamline processes and requirements and improve enforcement of the mining law and regulations. (MGB RO-6)