The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 with the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) 7 recently signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Mabuhay Filcement Inc. (MFI) for the establishment of a contingent liability and rehabilitation fund (CLRF).

“CLRF will guarantee the company’s compliance with its environmental commitments and is divided into monitoring trust fund (MTF) which is utilized by the multipartite monitoring team (MMT) in its monitoring activities,” said MGB 7 Regional Director Loreto B. Alburo.

With an institutionalized CLRF, Alburo said MFI will also put in place a rehabilitation cash fund (RCF) to be used for progressive rehabilitation and a mine wastes and tailings reserve fund (MWTRF) which will be taken out where damages to life and properties caused by mine wastes or tailings are compensated.

Meanwhile, DENR 7 Regional Executive Director Dr. Isabelo R. Montejo said this is a six-party agreement that ensures environmental concerns are adequately addressed in all aspects or components of project implementation in partnership with the various stakeholders.

Signing the MOA with Montejo and Alburo last January 22 were Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) 7 Regional Director Fernando Quililan, MFI Chief Executive Officer Enrison Benedicto, and San Fernando Mayor Antonio Canoy.

In a press statement, Alburo said the creation of a CLRF is important as it sets the bar higher in providing mitigating measures or mechanisms on the possible impacts to the environment while obtaining social and environmental responsibilities.

MFI, a holder of an exploration permit that covers an area of 168.3466 hectares in San Fernando and Carcar city, has been issued with three environmental compliance certificates (ECC) on its mineral processing plant, clay quarry, and limestone quarry operations.

Along with the CLRF set up, a mine rehabilitation fund committee (MRFC) composed of MGB-7 Regional Director as chair with DENR-7 Regional Executive Director as co-chair was organized with San Fernando Mayor, MFI, and a non-government organization (NGO) as members.

In relation to this, an MMT was constituted to conduct a periodic monitoring on the compliance on certain environmental provisions.