MICC eyes PHP 50-M budget for review of mining firms

MICC eyes PHP 50-M budget for review of mining firms
By Joann Santiago

MANILA, March 3 (PNA) — The Mining and Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) is considering a Php 50-million budget for the three-month multi-stakeholder review on the operations of 28 mine sites ordered suspended, or closed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, who co-chairs the Council with DENR Secretary Regina Lopez, said he had been informed by Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin Diokno that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) dontingency funds that could be tapped for this purpose.

In a briefing after the Council’s meeting Friday, Dominguez said the organization of the people under the five Technical Review Teams (TRT) would start on Monday, March 6.

“They (the adhoc review management unit) will start selecting the people who will be involved. Mostly from state colleges and universities,” he said.

The MICC, according to documents released to the media Friday, “will conduct an objective, fact-finding and science-based review of the performance of the existing mine operations”, initially on companies covered by the suspension and closure orders.

The review teams will look into the technical, legal, social, environmental, and economic aspects of the mines’ operations.

They will be provided with available data and records as well as technical personnel from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) and the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB).

Dominguez said the review would continue and not be affected by any developments on the confirmation of Lopez by the Commission on Appointments (CA).

He said the Council had been mandated to conduct review of all mining operations in the country every two years.

“The mandate of the MICC is to provide assistance to the DENR and that is what we’re going to do,” he said.

The Finance chief added that results of the review would be submitted to the Office of the President, which created the Council. (PNA)

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