The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Regional Office (RO) No. XIII welcomed the issuance of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Administrative Order (DAO) No. 2022-03 dated March 14, 2022 in re: “Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Republic Act (RA) No. 7076, otherwise known as the People’s Small-Scale Mining Act of 1991” which effectively repeals DAO No. 2015-03, the previously revised IRR of RA No. 7076.
Aiming towards a more effective and expeditious implementation of the People’s Small-Scale Mining Act, DAO No. 2022-03 provides for a more detailed and organized procedural guidelines on the registration and licensing of small-scale miners, as well as the declaration of Minahang Bayan, establishment of Mineral Processing Zones and application for Small-Scale Mining Contracts and Mineral Processing License.
DAO No. 2022-03 also promotes responsible small-scale mining and enforces accountability to various issues and concerns tagged with the said industry, particularly pertaining to safety, environmental protection and social development.
In addition to the usual submission and implementation of Annual Safety and Health Program, Potential Environmental Impact Management Plan (PEIMP) and Community Development and Management Plan (CDMP), DAO No. 2022-03 now requires Small-Scale Mining Contractors to set-up an Environmental Management and Social Development Fund equivalent to 10% of the total operating cost for the whole duration of the contract/permit or PhP100,000.00, whichever is higher, to ensure compliance with approved activities in the PEIMP and CDMP.
Further, the establishment of mine wastes dump and mill tailings storage facility was also emphasized through providing clear guidelines on site selection, design, construction and payment of corresponding fees, as well as the inclusion of non-compliance of the same to the possible grounds for suspension and administrative fines.
To ensure that the provisions of DAO No. 2022-03 are well-translated on the ground, the MGB RO No. XIII, through the initiative of Regional Director Larry M. Heradez, conducted a deliberation of the said DAO on March 17, 2022 which was attended by Engr. Verlin Marie M. Baldapan and Engr. Francis Glenn N. Suante, Chiefs of the Mine Management Division and Mine Safety, Environment and Social Development Division, respectively, together with the Section Chiefs and personnel of the Mining Tenement Evaluation Section and Monitoring and Technical Services Section, and the Legal Officer.