Mindful of the need to make sure just and timely compensation for damages and progressive and sustainable rehabilitation for any adverse effect of a mining operation or activity may cause, a Mine Rehabilitation Fund (MRF) was established involving five industrial sand and gravel (ISAG) permit holders that traverse Sapangdaku river in Toledo City, Cebu.

This developed after a memorandum of agreement (MOA) was inked among Mines and Geosciences Bureau-7 Regional Director Loreto B. Alburo and the five ISAG permit holders on March 20, 2012 at the MGB-7, Banilad, Mandaue City.

MGB 7 Regional Director Loreto B. Alburo said the management of mining operations and whatever resulting social and environmental impacts, however is a shared responsibility as it involves the government, industry and other stakeholders.

The five ISAG in Sapangdaku river covering portions of seven barangays in Toledo City with approved applied areas are: Maria Celeste Dolino, 13.5421 hectares; Carino Obiso, 9.5304 hectares; Ophelio Dolino, 5.24 hectares; Humphrey Benitez, 8.3619 hectares; and Gina BesaƱes, 7.7640 hectares.

To cover expenses for the environmental monitoring and indemnification of damages caused by the project, a mine rehabilitation fund (MRF) was put up totaling five hundred thousand pesos to be used for physical and social rehabilitation of areas and communities affected by the sand and gravel extraction and processing operations. Each permit holder was required to contribute one hundred thousand pesos for the MRF.

Alburo added that these funds should be maintained in a government depository bank.

As contained in the MOA, the permit holder shall establish and maintain an MRF as a reasonable environmental deposit to ensure availability of funds for its satisfactory compliance with its environmental commitments.

The MRF shall be in three forms: Monitoring Trust Fund (MRF), Rehabilitation Cash Fund (RCF), and the Final Mine Rehabilitation and Decommissioning Fund (FMRDF).

With the establishment of an MRF, a Mine Rehabilitation Fund Committee (MRFC) composed of MGB-7 Regional Director as chair with DENR-7 Regional Executive Director as co-chair was institutionalized with Toledo City Mayor and TOCEPA President as members.

In relation to this, a Multi-partite Monitoring Team (MMT) was constituted to conduct a periodic monitoring on the compliance on certain environmental provisions.