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Philippine Mining Act of 1995

With the recent issue of magnetite ore mining overwhemingly opposed by residents in the town of Bagamanoc and recently moved the mining site off the coast of Panganiban (Payo), I am compelled to post this Mining Act to serve as reference.

"Republic Act No. 7942 or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 (“Act”) is the governing law that regulates mineral resources development in the country. One of the primary objectives of this act is to revitalize the ailing Philippine mining industry by providing fiscal reforms and incentives and maintaining a viable inventory of mineral reserves to sustain the industry through the infusion of fresh capital through direct investments to finance mineral exploration and/or development activities. The original implementing rules and regulations of the Act was prepared in 1995, and was revised in 1996 under DENR Administrative Order 96 – 40, the revised implementing rules and regulations (RIRR).

Collectively, the Act and its RIRR take into consideration the following:
  • Local government empowerment
  • Respect and concern for the indigenous cultural communities
  • Equitable sharing of benefits and natural wealth
  • Demands of present generation while providing the foundation for future generations
  • Worldwide trend towards globalization
  • Protection for and wise management of the environment

The law also contain social and environmental safety nets far stronger than previous mining laws, rules and regulations. It has:

Built-in protection for the Indigenous Peoples (IP) through the prior informed consent requirement, one of, if not the only mining law in the world that contains such requirement, even pre-dating the free and prior informed consent (FPIC) requirement of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997;

Competitive fiscal regime. The fiscal regime is a major consideration among the investor's criteria for investment. The key concern of investors is not the fiscal regime per se, but the overall profitability of the project after considering the taxes. The fiscal regime of the Philippines is considered competitive not only in Asia but throughout the world, according to an independent study by the Institute for Global Resources Policy and Management of the Colorado School of Mines (CSM) in the United States in 2000;

Equitable sharing of the benefits of mining among the major stakeholders – the national and local government, the communities and the mining company. Under the fiscal regime, the benefits of mining of mining are approximately shared at 50%:50% between the government and the contractor. The 50% is further divided into 50% for the national government, 10% for the provincial government and 20% each for the municipality and host barangays; and

Philex

Environmental and social provisions comparable, if not better than similar provisions in mining laws of established countries. During the World Bank Mine Closure and Sustainable Development Workshop in 2000, the Philippines was among the nations considered to “have (a) comprehensive policy and legislation that provides for both comprehensive mine closure and post-mining sustainable development”. The Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) was also cited as a “tool for community participation”. The SDMP is meant for the development of the host and neighboring communities and is managed by the communities themselves together with the mining company and guidance by the Government and site-base NGOs. In addition, the national wealth sharing scheme, provided under the Local Government Code of 1991 where 40% of mining taxes collected by the national government is flowed back to the communities was cited as “one of the only few wealth sharing scheme of such nature in the world”.

The revised implementing rules and regulations of the Mining Act provides strict adherence to the principles of Sustainable Development which should encompass the economic, social and environmental aspects of human development."

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