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6. Utilization of natural resources A. Miners Association vs Factoran Jr.

Facts: The petition seeks a ruling from this court on the validity of two Administrative Orders 57 and 82 issued by the Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to carry out the provisions of Executive Orders 279 and 211. This petition arose from the fact that the 1987 Constitution provided for a different system of exploration, development and utilization of the countrys natural resources. Unlike the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions that allow the utilization of inalienable lands of public domain through license, concession or lease, the 1987 Constitution provides for the full control and supervision by the state of the exploration, development and utilization of the countrys natural resources. Pres. Cory Aquino promulgated EO 211, which prescribes the interim procedures in the processing and approval of applications for the exploration, development and utilization of minerals in accordance to the 1987 Constitution. In addition, Pres. Aquino also promulgated EO 279 authorizing the DENR Secretary to negotiate and conclude joint venture, co-production or production-sharing agreements for the exploration, development and utilization of mineral resources and prescribing the guidelines for such agreements and those agreements involving technical or financial assistance by foreign-owned corporations for large-scale exploration, development, and utilization of minerals. In line with EO 279, the DENR Secretary issued AO 57 Guidelines of Mineral Production Sharing Agreement under EO 279 and AO 82 Procedural Guidelines on the Award of Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) through negotiation. Petitioner, Miners Association of the Philippines, mainly contend that the DENR Secretary issued both AOs 57 and 82 in excess of his rule-making power because these are inconsistent with the provisions of EO 279. Issue: whether AO Nos. 57 and 82, which are promulgated by the DENR, are valid and constitutional Held: AO Nos. 57 and 82 are both constitutional and valid. This is due to the fact that EO 279, in effect, gave the Secretary of Natural Resources the authority to conclude joint venture, co-production, or production sharing agreements for the exploration, development and utilization of mineral resources. Furthermore, the constitutionality of these administrative orders goes to show that the utilization of inalienable lands of public domain is not merely done through license, concession or lease since the options are now also open to the State through direct undertaking or by entering into co-production, joint venture, or production sharing agreements.