Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Regional Director Loreto B. Alburo recently presented the specific provisions of the Executive Order (EO) 79 or the new mining policy.

This, in a forum jointly organized by Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC), University of Cebu (UC)-College of Law, Philippine Earth Justice Center, Inc., (PEJCI) and Sangguniang Panlungsod of the City of Cebu through the Office of Councilor Nida Cabrera.

Alburo said EO 79 which was signed on July 6 and officially released on July 9 institutionalizes and implements reforms in the country’s mining sector, considers both economic growth and the environment in its provisions.

Attended by nearly 60 participants from the non-government organizations, academe, and other stakeholders, National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) 7 Assistant Regional Director Efren Carreon, Atty. Gloria Estenzo-Ramos of PEJCI, Dr. Glen Green of the University of San Carlos (USC), and Atty. Michael P. Enriquez of FDC acted as reactors in a four-hour forum last July 24 at the Social Hall, Legislative building, Cebu City.

“It is a balanced law as it allows an extractive industry for national development without sacrificing the environment and it shows that we can go for ecological conservation without stifling economic growth,” he said.

Cebu City Environment and Natural Resources Officer (CCENRO) Randy A. Navarro gave the welcome remarks in behalf of Cebu City Mayor Michael L. Rama.

Alburo added, in his message, that EO reinforces environmental protection measures, promotes responsible mining, provides a more equitable revenue-sharing scheme, and provides coordinative mechanisms among stakeholders including local government units (LGUs).

“We now have a new policy that fortifies the existing mining act of 1995 that demands more transparency and accountability in every step towards acquiring a mining right and even beyond the acquisition through provisions of social component of the project,” he added.

Further, the EO supports, according to Alburo, the move of DENR Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje on the suspension of issuance of new mining permits as it awaits a legislation rationalizing revenue sharing schemes and mechanisms.

Meanwhile, Alburo briefed more than 200 officials and employees of DENR 7 including the line bureaus, MGB and Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) on the salient features of EO 79 in a flag raising ceremony today (July 30).