Iloilo City – The Mines and Geosciences Bureau VI (MGB-6), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), in collaboration with the Mines Association – Region VI, Inc. (MARS) gathered permit holders and accredited dealers, traders and retailers of minerals and mineral products operating within the provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo and Guimaras to a seminar to improve the knowledge and understanding of permit holders and accredited traders on policies governing their operations, and avoid common violations to improve their compliance. It was also the Annual General Meeting and election of officers for 2023 of MARS.
During the seminar, Ms. Leslie Grace N. Cedeles, Economist of MGB VI, presented the details of the needed information in the reportorial requirements submitted by permit holders and accredited traders of minerals and mineral products. She also presented the common mistakes and violations that resulted in a shortfall or incomplete reporting of data pertaining to the production and sales of minerals and mineral products.
In Region 6, the majority of extraction, production and sales pertain to non-metallic commodities such as sand gravel and quarry resources.
Engr. Vicarthur Tangoan, head of the Mine Safety and Health Section, presented the MGB Memorandum Circular No. 2018-02 or the Guidelines for Compliance Monitoring and Rating/Scorecard of Mining Permit/Contracts. It detailed the set of social, health, environmental, and safety requirements for permit holders, and the standardized monitoring checklist and scorecard that MGB applies when monitoring and evaluating the compliance of permit holders.
MGB VI Regional Director Raul A. Laput expressed his appreciation to the board of directors and officers of MARS for organizing and collaborating with MGB VI in continuously educating permit holders on government policies covering mining operations and trading. He also welcomed the activity as an opportunity to dialogue with the permit holders and traders and hear their concerns, and guide them to improve their compliance and thus reduce violations.
During the open forum, the participants raised questions specifically clarifying MGB policies, and suggestions to provide a guidebook of requirements for permit holders, and to continue holding informative seminars to remind and keep permit holders updated on government policies governing their business and operation.
Mr. Francis Felizardo, president of MARS and president of Montepiedra Aggregates Corporation, gave a management report and financial status of MARS since it started a year ago. He spelled out the purpose of the association, its composition, and activities. He said that basically, MARS exists for mining permit holders to work together to correct the negative perception of the mining industry as the cause of most of the environmental problems of the country by being advocates and practitioners of responsible mining. He encouraged the permit holders of Region 6 to join MARS, and be part in the attainment of this goal, as well as inspire each other through sharing of best practices.
The event concluded with the election of the twelve board of directors of MARS for 2023 representing the six provinces of Region 6. (MGB VI)