Gov’t to declare more mineral reservation areas soon
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said additional mineral reservation areas throughout the country may soon be declared to help provide equitable access to mineral resources and generate additional non-tax revenues for the government.
DENR Undersecretary for Mining Analiza Rebuelta-Teh said Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) is now in the process of identifying “mineralized areas and high mineral potential areas, including all existing operating mines” for declaration as mineral reservations.
Certain sites, according to him, have already undergone the process prescribed by law and are ready for endorsement to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for declaration as mineral reservations, pursuant to Republic Act 7942 or the Philippine Mining Act.
Teh explained that the law provides that when the national interest so requires, such as when there is a need to preserve strategic raw materials for industries critical to national development, or certain minerals for scientific, cultural or ecological value, the President may establish mineral reservations upon the recommendation of the MGB Director through the DENR Secretary.
Teh issued the statement in the wake of news reports regarding an Audit Observation Memorandum (AOM) issued by the Commission on Audit (COA) Regional Office XIII on the alleged failure of the DENR to collect almost P2.6 billion in royalty fees from five mining companies in Caraga region.