Filtered By: Topstories

Eastern Samar miners urged to comply with mineral production sharing deal

The provincial government of Eastern Samar called on miners operating in the area to fully comply with the issued Mineral Production Sharing Agreements (MPSAs). 

Eastern Samar has been a member of the Multipartite Monitoring Team (MMT) and the Mine Rehabilitation Fund (MRF) Committee, which ensure the compliance of mining enterprises with the Philippine Mining Act. 

In a press release, provincial legal officer Eden Ivy Rose Balagasay said that Governor Ben Evardone wants miners to comply with their MPSA provisions as well as with the applicable laws and provincial ordinances. 

If they do not comply, the miners will face the risk of suspension or revocation of their MPSAs that were granted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. 

Further, Balagasay said Evardone also wants the review panel to find out whether the miners had been complying with labor laws for the benefit and protection of their workers in the mine sites, including their memberships and contributions to the Social Security System (SSS), Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) and Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund).

“Despite the absence of a specified legal basis for the provincial government to intervene in their operations, Governor Evardone had stressed to the miners his belief in his moral obligation as a public servant to make sure that their enterprises are in full compliance with the law, especially when it comes to environmental protection whose implementation—or lack of it—will affect even the future generations,” Balagasay said. 

Balagasay has ensured that Eastern Samar has taken an active role when it comes to monitoring miners operating in the province to ensure their 100% compliance with laws and provincial ordinances.

“Before this year, the provincial LGU had never had an active participation in the selection and monitoring of accredited miners,” she said.

Earlier, Eastern Samar called on mining firms operating in Homonhon Island off Guiuan town to settle unpaid real property taxes (RPTs) amounting to over P100 million.

Eastern Samar provincial treasurer Antonia Macawile said the total unsettled RPTs amounted to P133.9 million based on the companies’ aggregate volumes listed in their chromite and nickel ore stocks transport permits (OTPs), issued by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the DENR.

Based on provincial government data, Cambayas Mining Corp. has unsettled RPTs of P96,578,000 for the period 2012 to 2016; Techiron Resources Inc.: P22,560,687 from 2017 to 2022; Emir Mineral Resources Corp. has unpaid RPTs worth P12,148,255; and Mt. Sinai Mining Exploration and Development Corp. has P2,580,000 in obligations since 2013. –VAL, GMA Integrated News