Review of mining ops in ARMM launched PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 12 July 2016 13:40

The natural resources department of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) is now evaluating the compliance by local miners with their environment-protection duties.

The review, ordered by the newly-reappointed secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-ARMM, Hadji Kahal Kedtag, is also meant to determine how mining firms operating in the region are keeping up with their corporate social reciprocation efforts in the local communities.

Kedtag on Monday said he had ordered all mining firms operating in the region to refrain, meantime, from any extraction activities pending the outcome of the process.

Functions and powers of the DENR had been devolved to the ARMM government as provided for by the region’s charter, the Republic Act 9054.

Section 5, Article 12 of the R.A. 9054 granted the ARMM government supervision and control of exploration, utilization and protection of sources of minerals in all of the five provinces of the autonomous region.

The ARMM covers the provinces of Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, which are both in mainland Mindanao, and the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

Kedtag said stocks of ore extracted prior to the release of his June 30, 2016 memorandum circular ordering the in-depth examination of mining firms can still be shipped out from areas of origin.

He said all valid mineral production sharing agreements issued to operators shall also be reviewed periodically.

“This to determine their mandatory compliance with environmental standards and regulations,” Kedtag said.

Teams are now being organized to carry out the assessment program.

Kedtag said the teams are to be composed of DENR-ARMM personnel, experts from cooperating government agencies and representatives from local civil society organizations.

“The process shall be made open to scrutiny by the media,” he said.