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House wants answers on how DOT will save Boracay

Amid Boracay sludge, House probe sought on DOT's plans for
sustainable tourism
By: Vince F. Nonato- Reporter / @VinceNonatoINQ
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:59 PM June 26, 2017

MANILA — Citing the deterioration of the world-famous Boracay, Samar
1st Dist. Rep. Edgar Mary Sarmiento has asked the House of
Representatives to conduct on inquiry on the Department of Tourism’s
plans to promote sustainability.

House Resolution No. 1087 seeks an investigation into the DOT’s
roadmap, programs, projects and action plans aiming to regulate
tourist spots.

“The massive influx of tourists and the explosive population growth
in the island places it at the risk of destruction. This is highly
detrimental as our citizens are reaping numerous benefits from the
thriving tourism industry in the area. Moreover, the environmental
degradation is a proof of the State’s failure to preserve our
natural resources,” Sarmiento said in his resolution.

He said he noticed the degradation of the island when members of
the House of Representatives embarked on the so-called Western-
Eastern National Highway Expedition, a 10-day “inspection” of
tourist spots and roll-on/roll-off vessels.

Boracay’s renowned white sand beaches have been recently affected
by an abundance of slimy green algae growth. SFM

DENR to strictly enforce sewerage connection in Boracay

Monday, 12 March 2018 00:00 |

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said it
will force the local government of Malay, Aklan to strictly enforce

” Cimatu said. Customers of the other water provider.” Cimatu said. but the company offers to siphon waste water from them into the company’s sewerage treatment plant.331 residential customers are connected to the sewers. they will face sanctions. are not connected to the sewer lines. Those which are located farther from the lines. are required to build and maintain sewerage treatment plants and septic tanks. This untreated waste water.” DENR Secretary Roy A.local legislation requiring residents and businesses in Boracay Island to be connected to the sewerage system. . What we want to see is for it to be strictly enforced. 195 of its 578 business customers are not connected to the sewer lines.. Boracay Tubi System Inc. If they fail to do so. Boracay has been hounded with the issue of untreated waste water being dumped into the drainage system of the island. or provide alternatives for them in cooperation with the water concessionaires. only 5 percent of their 4. Cimatu said. one of the two water concessionaires in Boracay and the operator of the island’s sewerage infrastructure. eventually reaches the open waters in and around Boracay.. “For residents. or for other reasons cannot connect to the system. “The local government of Malay has enacted Ordinance 307 in 2012. which contains harmful bacteria and other substances. And we do not know if these 195 establishments are causing problems with the island’s drainage system. so it is important for us to crack down on them. The ordinance requires residents and businesses within 61 meters from sewerage pipes to connect to the sewerage system. The law is there. instead of the sewerage system.” Cimatu said. According to Boracay Island Water Corp. Meanwhile. “Companies release a huge volume of waste water. and it requires urgent action from us. which mandates businesses and residents to connect to the sewerage system of Boracay. “Boracay’s sewage is the number one problem in the island. Despite the ordinance. we will help them connect to the sewers if possible. We are giving companies not connected to the sewer lines one month to link up.

“We have the strong endorsement from our host communities to operate and are a major employer of Filipino nationals. adding that it anticipated Didipio to continue to operate during the appeal process. “A suspension of operations will adversely impact thousands of Filipinos directly and indirectly.” OceanaGold Philippines. majority of whom are from the local communities. was given a period of up to three months to address the issues raised against it. 2 The Australian company said in a statement the order repeated allegations previously made by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. said its Philippine unit has finally received an order calling for the suspension of the Didipio gold mine in Nueva Vizcaya. OceanaGold Corp. and the potential adverse impact to the agricultural areas of the province. OceanaGold said the filing stayed the execution of the suspension order.” OceanaGold chief executive Mick Wilkes said. The company said that upon receipt of the order. ADVERTISEMENT These include the “petition of the local government of Nueva Vizcaya for the cancellation of (the mining contract). which Lopez announced last Feb. alleged damages to houses caused by the blasting operation.” . one of the county’s top producers of gold. it filed an appeal directly with the Office of the President.Lopez’s crackdown on mines continues to rattle investors-Feb 2017 MANILA — Environment Secretary Regina Lopez’s revved-up campaign against mining projects that allegedly have been violating laws and ruining bodies of water continues to rattle the capital market as regulators and investors try to make sense of what’s happening.

The Vulcan Industrial and Mining Corp. said the list included the MPSA of its unit Itogon-Suyoc Resources. The company said the two MPSAs related to projects both in the exploration stage. related to a tenement in Mankayan. PSE president Hans Sicat said in a forum the DENR’s earlier announcement relating to the orders to close 23 mines in commercial operation“may have been a worrisome trend if not very irresponsible. said its prospective merger partner Asia Pilot Mining Philippines Corp. Inc. Benguet.” Sicat said the PSE feared that the announcement last Feb. Apex Mining Co. but said it has not received any notice from DENR. Inc. said its unit Mina Tierra Gracia Inc. Benguet the DENR chief want scrapped. at least six listed firms said mineral production sharing agreements (MPSAs) assigned to them or their subsidiaries were among the 75 contracts that Lopez on Tuesday said she wanted cancelled. got two subsidiaries in the list — Alumina Mining Philippines Inc.At the Philippine Stock Exchange. Marcventures Holdings Inc.. 2 — which he described as a “trial by media release” — put at risk the . and Bauxite Resources Inc. NiHao Mineral Resources International Inc. said its MPSA for a tenement in Negros Occidental was on the list but that it has not received any notice. — a tenement in Zambales — was “prepared to avail and exhaust the legal and administrative remedies to defend the MPSA. MacroAsia Corp. said it got two MPSAs on the list. with an MPSA in Itogon. Omico Corp said it got a 3-percent stake in Macawiwili Gold Mining and Development Co.” Last week.

Sicat said that from a macroeconomic perspective. one begins to question whether policymakers have a handle of the gameplan or whether a group or an individual has hijacked a well- thought (out) economic plan. . “We want to make sure that process and benchmarks are followed to prevent causing undue advantages or disadvantages (for market players).” he said. Dominguez said Budget Secretary Benjamin E. “We feared that listed companies may have lost wealth” because the announcement caused confusion and misdirection. Dominguez co-chairs the MICC with Environment Secretary Regina Paz Lopez. Dominguez III said the Department of Budget and Management had committed to fund the interagency Mining Industry Coordinating Council’s (MICC) comprehensive review of all mining contracts. In a statement Sunday. Sicat said investors have been unhappy with the fact that not everyone had the same access to information.financial and investment health not only of institutional investors but also of individual investors. Diokno told him that the budget for the review to be undertaken by the MICC technical working group would come from the government’s contingency fund.” P50M set for review of DENR orders to shut down mines-Mar2017 MANILA — The government will set aside P50 million for a review of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ order to shut down or suspend 28 mines. Finance Secretary Carlos G. the PSE chief said. “when a surprise announcement does not jive with the overall economic plan. starting with the ones subject to the DENR orders issued last month. of which 23 were to be closed down and five to be suspended.

The MICC earlier identified the lack of budget as a concern ahead of the three-month review that will start within March. the Department of Finance. ““It’s been done [with other similar councils] so we can do it.” Dominguez said each of the five technical review teams would have a geologist. science-based” review of mining operations nationwide. and the . the Department of Labor and Employment. 79 of reviewing all 311 mining contracts in the country once every two years. the Department of Trade and Industry. Dominguez said the technical review teams would be comprised of “qualified. a community relations officer.” “It was only proper that the MICC be given a permanent allocation under the national budget given its task under Executive Order No.” the finance chief added. according to Dominguez. The technical review teams will conduct an “objective. “This MICC has never been funded so I think for the 2018 budget. Dominguez said. starting with those covered by the DENR orders. the MICC will seek a permanent annual budget for such reviews under the general appropriations act. certified or licensed persons in their fields of expertise and experienced in mining operations who shall be independent and have no known conflict of interest. Moving forward.” Dominguez said. the Department of Social Welfare and Development. The MICC will begin selecting the members of the five interdisciplinary technical review teams on Monday (March 6). fact- finding. we will propose that we will do that. an environmental management officer. as well as economic representatives of the local government unit hosting the mining operation. mining engineer or metallurgical engineer. a lawyer.

according to Dominguez.” the guidelines said.” Also. “the review shall refer/take off from the existing reports (such as audit reports and checklists) prepared/developed by the DENR audit team and technical review committee. an ad hoc management unit “will manage the review through the provision of office space. Besides the technical review teams. laws and regulations and impact of their operations.” Dominguez said. submissions. This review would be “in accordance with existing guidelines and parameters set forth in the specific mining contracts concerned and other pertinent laws rules and regulations. Ocular inspections may also be conducted. hire individual experts and consolidate documents and reports for submission to the [MICC]. among other concerned government agencies. the five teams “will tap the academe and engage experts from state universities and colleges to help conduct the review.” Dominguez said.” Dominguez said. social and technical aspects of the mining activities. environmental. Under guidelines approved by the MICC. . The review will primarily focus on the economic. legal. the technical review teams “will go over the compliance of the 28 mine sites with applicable agreements.” “The DENR will provide and make available the copies of the documents in the DENR data room for easy reference/access during the conduct of the review. if deemed necessary. Under the guidelines.National Economic and Development Authority. by the technical review teams and if funds permit. provide administrative and financial services.

or else. Duterte expressed support for it. Duterte have said MANILA. what possible changes could be seen in this sector in the next 6 years? Here’s a rundown of what the Duterte administration has said so far about the mining industry. suffer sanctions. Mining in PH: What Gina Lopez. mining has become one of the most talked about issues in the country. Lopez. provided that companies follow "responsible" mining. “The poorest sites in the country are mining areas. Since President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Gina Lopez secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Meanwhile. which created an executive order that stressed the need to raise government's share in mining revenues and which imposed a moratorium on new mining contracts. has been involved in spats with big mining companiesbecause of her strong statements against mining. “If there is responsible mining why is it that wherever there is mining.” Lopez said in an Inquirerarticle. Coming from the Aquino administration. a known anti-mining advocate. he has since reiterated his stance. has been quoted as saying there is no such thing as responsible mining. Duterte to allow responsible mining) After being elected.“The MICC will present the findings and submit its recommendations to the Office of the President. which shall make a final decision on the DENR’s closure and suspension orders. Lopez. . He said mining companies should follow the environmental standards set by countries like Australia and Canada. on the other hand. the Dutertes banned mining in Davao City. 'Responsible' mining only In the middle of his campaign sometime in February. (READ: If elected. (READ: Investors in mining panic over Gina Lopez appointment) During their term.” the guidelines said. 1. there is poverty?” she said. Philippines .

Lopez said that for mining to be called responsible. Lopez said of the Philippine Mining Act of 1995. Lopez ordered an audit of all mining companies in the country and has since suspended at least 4 of them. I commit to the truth. Yao (October 2016) . July 25. "The audit will be fair. "you have to have the highest standards. Lopez gave assurances everything will be based on fairness. I will not allow it to happen in DENR. what will he say about his administration's mining policies? (READ: Duterte's 1st SONA: What we know about the awaited speech) –Rappler. 3. she added. but also social and environmental." she said." she said. and not towards our people. fishery experts. Philippine Mining Act of 1995 is unfair In one of her interviews. 2. water experts. will not only be technical.com AN OVERVIEW OF LARGE SCALE MINING LAWS IN THE PHILIPPINES Contributor: Aislyn Janelle L. warning companies that violate the law they will "face the consequences. When Duterte delivers his first State of the Nation Address on Monday." referring to the mining companies' supposed adherence toISO 14001 Certification as a measure of responsible mining." (READ: Gina Lopez: Philippine Mining Act an 'unfair' law) "You cannot build an economy. since it consists of agriculturists. it is “unfair” because it is "skewed towards the mining sector.In a separate interview. Fair audit of mining companies When she ordered an audit of all mining companies in the country. and those involved in community development." The audit team. On her first day in office. a company based on suffering.

and loss of livelihood in mining affected areas resulted from large-scale mining activities.[iv] and more stringent requirements for obtaining Environmental Compliance Certificate (“ECC”) were also introduced. its Implementing Rules and Regulations (“IRR”) and Executive Order No.[i] its environmental impact also cannot be ignored.Exploration. This means contractors are obligated to integrate the rehabilitation. toxic waterways and agricultural fields. 96- 40. To ensure . Though the economic viability of the mining industry cannot be denied with the PHP 22. 79 entitled Institutionalizing and Implementing Reforms in the Philippine Mining Sector. Providing Policies and Guidelines to Ensure Environmental Protection and Responsible Mining in the Utilization of Mineral Resources.1 billion it has generated for the second quarter of year 2016. development and utilization (“EDU”) of the mining resources of the Philippines has always been a source of conflict for the government. Massive siltation of rives. establishment of Mining Rehablitation Fund and Contingent Liability and Rehabilitation Fund (“CLRF”). non-governmental organization (“NGOs”) and the private sector because of economic and environmental reasons. regeneration. At Present Currently. and its IRR. The Mining Act also requires contractors to undertake environmental protection and enhancement program or the Environment Work Program (“EWP”) for the duration of the mining agreement. environmental safeguards such as mining limitations. revegetation and reforestation of the mineralized areas into their work program. the large scale Philippines Mining Industry is guided by Republic Act No. development and utilization of natural resources. the Mining Act is geared towards Sustainable Development.[ii] As such. there is clear need to revisit and amend current mining laws to address and balance the growing environmental concern with the economic benefits the mining industry brings. Together with its IRR issued by DENR Administrative Order no. The Mining Act is the primary law that governs large scal-scale exploration.[iii] Further. They are also mandated to allocate ten percent (10%) of their intial capital expenditures for environment-related activities and three to five (3-5%) of the direct mining and mining costs to implement an Annual Environment Protection and Enhancement Program (“EPEP”). ten percent (10%) of the government’s share in royalties and revenues are alloted for special projects and other administrative expenses related to the exploration and development of mineral reservations. As such. 7042 or the Phillipine Mining Act of 1995 (“the Mining Act”).

the grant of mining righs and tenements shall now be given through public bidding instead of the first-come-first-serve policy under the Mining Act. The more interesting features of the EO 79 are the public bidding requirement and the moratorim imposed on the grant of mineral agreements. To encourage mining.[vi]Second. fiscal and non-fiscal incentives such as duty free capital equipment imports. It was likewise given the authority to cancel mining applications and mining rights violating the provisions of the Mining Act. (2) establish and operate the CLRF and (3) to issue Cease-and-Desists orders (“CDO”). pro-environment changes are expected in the large- scale mining industry. mining companies are now being audited. Joint Venture or Co-production agreement can be entered into. Since the start of Secretary Lopez’ term. FTAA. four (4) mining companies have already been suspended for violating environmental standards. income tax deductions (when operations are posting losses) are granted to mining contractors of Mineral Production Sharing Agreements and Financial or Technical Assistance Agreements(“FTAA”). For one. Subsequently. value added tax exemptions. Compliance to environmental standard also became a shared responsbility between MGB of DENR and the local government. An additional incentive of an income tax holiday are also granted to FTAA contractors for a period not exceeding five (5) years from the start of construction. while Section 4 of EO 79 prevents the government from entering into new mineral agreements “until a legislation rationalizing existing revenue sharing schemes and mechanisms” are enacted. 79 (“EO 79”) was enacted and introduced reforms to the Mining Act such as expanding the the areas closed to mining operations[v] establishment of mineral reservation and one-top shop for all mining related applications and introduction of measures to improve small-scale mining activities. Prior consent of the concerned indigenous people and compliance with the social acceptablity requirement of the affected communites were also required before Mineral Production Sharing Agreement. in 2012. a known anti-mining advocate spearheading the country’s natural resources development. .compliance with the Mining Act. the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the DENR was given the authority (1) to enforce and monitor the EWP and EPEP. The Mining Industry Coordinating Council (“MICC”) was also created to help enforce mining laws and coordinate with stakeholders. Pursuant to Section 6 of EO 79. Moving Forward With newly appointed Environment Secretary Gina Lopez. Executive Order No.

2016 available at http://www. 2016) [iii] An Act Instituting A New System of Mineral Resources Exploration .amendments to the Mining Act can also be expected. [i] Department of Environment & Natural Resources.July 12. available at http://www. 2016) .pdf (last accessed September 30. 2005). Thus. (April 14.rappler.gov. Development. 2005-07] [DENR- Administrative Order No. Amendments to Chapter XVIII of DENR Administrative Order No..O. [Philippine Mining Act of 1995] Republic Act No. 2016. Mining Industry Statistics available at http://mgb. Jee Y. rappler. In a radio interview on July 12.pdf (last accessed: September 30. Utilization and Conservation. Mines & Geosciences Bureau. mining companies can expect an increase in government share and a stricter implementation of environmental standards. 79] (July 6.com/nation/139424-gina-lopez-philippine- mining-act-unfair (last accessed September 30. No.mgb10. 7942 (1995) [iv] Department of Environment and Natural Resources. 79 [E.com/policies/REVISED%20IRR%20OF%20MINING%20 ACT%20OF%201995. and not towards [the] people. Secretary Lopez explicitly stated that she found the Mining Act an unfair law as it is “skewed towards the mining sector. Gina Lopez: Philippine Mining Act an ‘Unfair’ Law. Institutionalizing and Implementing Reforms in the Philippine Mining Sector Providing Guidelines to Ensure Environmental Protection nad Responsible Mining in the Utilization of Mineral Resources. she also indicated her disappointment with the revenue share the government receives from mining activities. 2016) [ii] Highlights of the Mining Act of 1995 (RA 7942) and its Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations. Executive Order No.ph/attachments/article/162/MIS (2015)%20(1)%20(1). [v] Office of the President. 96-40 as Amending Providint for the Establishment of a Final Mine Rehabilitation nad Decommissioning Fund Administrative Order No. 05-07]. 2012) [vi]Geronimo.” In the same interview.