Tuesday, March 7, 2017

‘Mining closure-order review to cost review panel money’

By Rea Cu -  February 28, 2017

THE Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) technical working group (TWG) should know for sure by Friday this week how much it will cost to go over the mining contracts ordered closed or suspended by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), according to Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III.
At a news briefing in Malacañang on Tuesday, Dominguez said the MICC TWG will meet this Friday to present the estimated cost necessary to pursue the review.
“We need to have a plan as how to help the municipalities and finding jobs for the workers, [a plan] that is implementable and well-funded,” according to Dominguez.
Earlier, the MICC issued Resolution 6, which seeks to create the review team that will further study the mining contracts and completing the review in under three months.
“The review shall be based on the guidelines and parameters set forth in the specific mining contract and in other pertinent laws, taking into account the valid exercise of the State’s police power to serve the common good of the poor,” the MICC resolution said.
Finance Undersecretary Bayani H. Agabin said the organizational meeting of the multistakeholder review team has agreed on the composition, scope and process under which the mining contracts review will be done.
“We want to make sure that due process is observed and specified that the law has been followed,” Dominguez added.
According to Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) estimates, the closed and suspended operations of 28 mining sites across the country will cost 17 cities and municipalities in 10 provinces at least P821 million annually in foregone revenues.
The Department of Finance added that three municipalities will lose revenues a little over 50 percent of their current operating income if the affected mine sites are forced to suspend operations. The estimates do not include yet the projected income losses of the LGUs that host 75 mine sites whose mineral production sharing agreements (MPSAs) were ordered cancelled, but mainly focused on the initial 28 sites.
“Whether or not the mines affected would want to file a case is up to them,” he told reporters. 

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