A week-long refresher training for members of the Multi-Partite Monitoring Team (MMT) and the Mine Rehabilitation Fund Committee (MRFC) for mining projects in Palawan was conducted recently at the Bayview Park Hotel Manila in Manila from October 8 to 12.
The capacity building workshop was themed “Working Together Towards Sustainability Beyond Compliance,” is aimed to capacitate the MMT and MRFC members for Berong Nickel Corporation (BNC), Citinickel Mines and Development Corporation (CMDC), Coral Bay Nickel Corporation (CBNC), Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation (RTNMC), and Unichamp Mineral Philippines Incorporated (UMPI) on new policies and innovations on mining and mine rehabilitation; the guidelines for monitoring of safety and health, environmental management, and social development programs of mining projects; and sampling protocols based on Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) and international standards.
“Huwag tayong maging just compliant, we have to go beyond compliance. Ito yung hinahanap ng ating Secretary, ng ating Presidente, na nagkakaroon tayo ng initiatives to further improve our activities, or the manner of utilization of natural resources in a way that our environment will not be sacrificed,”
Henry Adornado,DENR MIMAROPA regional executive director, said.
Adornado thanked the support and cooperation of the EMB and Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) regional directors in addressing issues in the region, not just mining.
Roland de Jesus regional director of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau in the MIMAROPA region called on participants to work towards one direction which is the improvement of the MMT monitoring in conformance with the new MGB Memorandum Circular No. 2018-02, or the Guidelines for Compliance of Monitoring and Rating/Scorecard of Mining Permits/Contracts, and introduction of more sustainable practices that will benefit all stakeholders.
“In the process, we expect the companies to shift to self-regulation, just like what we have started with the Sustainable Management Online Tool introduced by the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development,” De Jesus said.
He recognized the inclusion of the Church and groups critical to mining as members of the MMT and MRFC.
He expressed confidence that with transparency coupled with collaborative efforts from all sectors, the Region will be “standing as one when the inevitable comes.”
The week-long workshop highlighted discussions on the importance of coral reef in the ecosystem in relation to the RTNMC-CBNC experience in coral gardening; monitoring of tailings dam, including the causes of dam and tunnel failures, with emphasis on the need for monitoring by a qualified geotechnical engineer; and landscape function analysis, how to do it, and its application and results in the Philippines.
Other presentations include the showcase of mining companies’ best practices in reforestation and progressive rehabilitation, and the accomplishments of Berong Aramaywan Tagbanua Association Inc. under the Community Royalty Development Program (CRDP).
MMT and MRFC members also revisited and updated the Manual of Operations (MOO) for MMTs, with the application of some of the recommendations during the lectures on sampling procedures and monitoring of tailings dams.
The revised MOO is also in line with Department Administrative Order (DAO) 2015-02 or the Harmonization of the Implementation of the Philippine Environmental Impact Statement System and the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 in relation to Mining Projects; DAO 2016-08 or the Water Quality Guidelines and General Effluent Standards of 2016; and the DAO 2018-18 or Establishing a Centralized Management and Coordinative Mechanism at the Regional Offices of DENR, MGB, and EMB, and Designating the DENR Regional Director as the Regional Executive Director Providing Overall Command of Regional Operations.
The members of the multi-sectoral MRFC and MMT teams represent the public and other stakeholders, with primary tasks of monitoring and evaluating on a quarterly basis the compliance of mining proponents with the applicable mining and environmental laws, rules, and regulations.
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