Yes, the MGB has the technical capability to monitor the environmental management and social development compliances of mining companies. Most of the technical staff has ample training in environmental and social sciences from Australia, Japan, Netherlands, France or Sweden. Also, the MGB is equipped with a modern laboratory and field equipment for on-site analysis.
The Mining Act of 1995 and its Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations, DAO 96-40, as amended ensures that environmental conditions are sustained over the life of the mine. The minimum environmental requirements are the implementation of the following:
- Environmental Work Program (EnWP) – addresses any potential disturbance during the exploration stage.
- Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) – should be secured prior to the development and construction of the mine.
- Environmental Protection and Enhancement Program (EPEP) – the document that details the methods and procedures the company will use in attaining its environmental protection and management objectives over the life-of-the-mine.
- Annual Environmental Protection and Enhancement Program (AEPEP) – based on the pproved EPEP to implement progressive rehabilitation measures.
- Final Mine Rehabilitation/Decommissioning Plan ( FMR/DP) – submitted together with the EPEP before the start of mining operation, ensures that all disturbed areas will be restored, as near, as possible to its original state or to a pre-agreed productive end-use.
- In addition, the mining/exploration permit applicant is required to secure a Certificate of Satisfactory Environmental Management and Community Relations Record.
Since the revitalization of the minerals industry in 2004, at least US$1.4 billion has already been invested in the country. It is expected that this investment will reach US$11.3 billion by 2011 while generating an annual foreign exchange of at least US$10.1 Billion from exports of mineral products.
Mining has accounted for about 149,000 employees in its large-scale (mining and quarrying) sector or about 0.40% of total Philippine employment. However, this is significantly higher if the industry’s multiplier effect is considered. While estimates vary, it is safe to assume that for every job generated in the mining industry, around four to six more jobs are indirectly generated in the upstream and downstream sectors.