The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) conducted the Workshop on the Results of the CY 2020 Audit of Regional Monitoring System and Other Related Matters on April 19 to 23, 2021 via Microsoft Teams Platform.

Technical personnel from all MGB Regional Offices took part in the five-day activity. In his opening remarks, MGB Director Wilfredo G. Moncano encouraged everyone to look into the provisions of Executive Order No.130 with the following highlights:

  • The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) shall formulate the terms and conditions in the new mineral agreements that will maximize government revenues and share from production, including the possibility of declaring these areas as mineral reservations to obtain appropriate royalties, in accordance with the existing laws, rules and regulations.
  • The DENR shall likewise undertake a review of existing mining contracts and agreements for possible renegotiation of the terms and conditions of the same which, in all cases, shall be mutually acceptable to the government and mining contractor.
  • The DENR and the Department of Finance shall undertake appropriate measures to rationalize existing revenue sharing schemes and mechanisms.

Aimed at ensuring the standardization of the regional monitoring system of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Offices, the other objectives of the workshop include the proposal of amendment of MGB Memorandum Circular No. 2018-02, “Guidelines for Compliance Monitoring and Rating/Scorecard of Mining Permits/Contracts”, discussion of issues and concerns encountered in the conduct of Tenement, Safety and Health, Environment, and Social Development (TSHES) Regional Systems Audit and proposal of policies to address the identified gaps. These policies were presented by then Chief of MGB Central Office Mining Tenements Management Division and the current OIC-Regional Director of MGB Regional Office No. XIII, Engr. Larry M. Heradez.

The Mine Safety, Environment and Social Development Division (MSESDD) and Mining Tenements Management Division – Mine Management Division (MTMD-MMD) were divided into Division Plenary and Section Breakout Sessions for a more in-depth discussion of the several issues at hand.  Breakout Sessions for each section were scheduled on the second and third days of the workshop.

For MTMD-MMD, the highlights of the discussion are the following;

  • Presentation of the 2019 Tenement Audit Findings and Agreements;
  • Issues and Concerns Encountered during TSHES Monitoring which were raised during the Breakout Sessions
    1. On Mandatory Requirements,
    2. On Reportorial Requirements, and
    3. On Fiscal Obligations, particularly the Occupation Fees;
  • Presentation of CY 2020 Audit of Regional Tenement Monitoring System of all Regional Offices and Discussions of the Findings and Recommendations of the Audit of Tenement Monitoring System of all Regional Offices
    1. Issues, Concerns and other Agreements discussed during the       Presentation;
  • Presentation and Discussion on the Proposed Amendment of the Existing Guidelines in the Conduct of Monitoring of Compliances
    1. Proposed Standard Tenement Monitoring Checklists and
    2. Proposed Revisions of Reportorial Requirements;
  • General Issues and Concerns raised during the Breakout Sessions
    1. Some mining companies refused to sign the Standard Monitoring Checklist,
    2. Clarification on the imposition of fines,
    3. Mineral Economics, Information and Publication Division reports should be included in the Standard Monitoring Checklists and Consolidated DENR Administrative Order No. 2010-21 revision, including the corresponding penalties, and
    4. Proof/s of veracity of the Indigenous People Royalty payment should be specified;
  • Presentation on “Mining Tenement e-Compliance System (MTeCS)”;
  •  Presentation of the Targets and Accomplishments for CYs 2020 and 2021 of the MGB Regional Offices;
  • Care and Maintenance Program (CMP) Guidelines;
  • Summary of Operating Surface Metallic Mines; and
  • MTMD Audit Schedule.

For MSESDD, the following matters took most of the discussion for each Section:

Mine Safety and Health

  • Safety and Health Program,
  • Accident Investigation,
  • Mine Safety and Health Section (MSHS) Training,
  • MSHS Database, and
  • Safety and Health Monitoring Checklist and Scorecard for Mineral Processing Permit (MPP) and Industrial Sand and Gravel (ISAG) Permit.

Mine Environmental Management

  • Process of Environmental Protection and Enhancement Program/Final Mine Rehabilitation and Decommissioning Program endorsement including the Sand and Gravel Projects,
  • Mine Waste and Tailings Validation,
  • Mining Forest Program and National Greening Program Monitoring,
  • Details of implementation of MGB Memorandum Order No. 20-001 (CMP) and its proposed environmental monitoring checklist and scorecard,
  • Proposed environmental monitoring checklist/scorecard for MPP and ISAG projects, and
  • Operations of the Mine Rehabilitation Fund Committee.

Social Development

  • Review, Evaluation, and Approval of 5-Year Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) and Community Development Program (CDP),
  • Conduct of Semi-Annual Monitoring and Submission of Reports to MGB Central Office,
  • Establishment of SDMP and CDP Database, and
  • Review, Evaluation, and Approval of Annual SDMP.

Highlights of the Review and Assessment of the Audit Findings and Recommendations and other issues, concerns, and agreements involving TSHES monitoring were discussed on the fourth day of the workshop with the MMD-MSESDD Plenary participants.

On the last day of the workshop, the schedule of the CY 2021 Virtual Audit of Regional TSHES Monitoring System was presented. MGB Assistant Director Roland A. De Jesus delivered the Closing Remarks and a virtual group photo session followed.

By: Queeniebeth L. Plaza
Monitoring Officer
Mine Safety, Environment and Social Development Division