31
Aug

DENR to open more mining areas

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is set to declare more mineral reservation areas across the country in an effort to generate additional nontax revenue for the government, an environment undersecretary said Thursday.

The move came after the Philippine economy grew below expectations at 6 percent in the second quarter, partly due to the lackluster performance of the mining and quarrying sector as a result of the closure of some mining pits and imposition of excise on minerals.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is set to declare more mineral reservation areas across the country in an effort to generate additional nontax revenue for the government, an environment undersecretary said Thursday.

The move came after the Philippine economy grew below expectations at 6 percent in the second quarter, partly due to the lackluster performance of the mining and quarrying sector as a result of the closure of some mining pits and imposition of excise on minerals.

Analiza Rebuelta-Teh, undersecretary for climate change and mining concerns, said the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) had begun identifying “mineralized areas” and “high-mineral potential areas,” including existing mines in operation, for declaration as mineral reservations.

A number of sites are ready for endorsement to President Rodrigo Duterte for declaration as mineral reservations, pursuant to Republic Act No. 7942, or the Philippine Mining Act.

“The law provides that when the national interest so requires, such as when there is a need to preserve strategic raw materials for industries critical to national development, or certain minerals for scientific, cultural or ecological value, the President may establish mineral reservations,” Teh said in a statement.

Once an area is declared a mineral reservation, jurisdiction over it shall be transferred to the Philippine Mining Development Corp. (PMDC) to make it revenue-generating.

PMDC currently handles two mineral reservation projects—the Diwalwal gold mine in Compostela Valley province and the Dinagat Chromite-Nickel mining projects in the Caraga region.

Other government-declared mineral reservation areas are located in Zambales, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur.

Uncollected revenue

The DENR is looking at declaring more mineral reservations in response to recent audit findings that found that the government did not collect P2.7 billion from mining activities.

Teh said the DENR hoped to solve the problem of uncollected mining revenue by declaring more areas as mineral reservations, which would give the MGB mandate to collect royalties.| Source: Inquirer

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