COTABATO CITY — The Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Energy (MENRE) through the Mines and Geosciences Services (MGS) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Central and Region 12 Offices held on 28 October 2021 a meeting about the inclusion of mining operations located within BARMM in an objective, fact-finding and science-based review to be directed and spearheaded by the Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC).

The review intends to identify management and regulation issues and limitations surrounding the mining sector and the recommended interventions to address these concerns and gaps.

“The very primary step to a stronger foundation for the strengthened Bangsamoro is nothing but research, and a science-based assessment or review,” MENRE Deputy Minister Akmad A. Brahim said.

“We are here to capacitate you and help you with your progress,” DENR Undersecretary for Mining and Muslim Affairs Jim Sampulna said, stressing that the BARMM is a new government after all.

Director Raphael Remo led the MGS in the roundtable discussion and emphasized that the Ministry is “grateful for the support and assistance provided by the DENR.

”Engr. Nonita Caguioa, DENR Assistant Secretary for Finance, Information Systems and Mining Concerns, also added that the “DENR will guide MENRE by all means to ensure optimum results.” She said that DENR-12 Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Director Engr. Efren Carido will lead the provision of Mining 101 training.

Engr. Wilfredo Moncano, MGB Central Office Director, and Engr. Roger Tamayo of MGB-12 also accompanied the DENR Usec and Asec to Cotabato City to meet with MENRE and assist in the completion of the Ministry’s MICC requirements.

The MICC is being co-chaired by the current Secretaries of the DENR and Department of Finance (DOF).

Under Executive Order No. 79 s. 2012 institutionalizing and implementing reforms in the Philippine mining sector, the MICC directs the conduct of a multi-stakeholder review of the existing mining operations in the country. The review, which is now at Phase 3, will cover mining sites in the Bangsamoro region.

Last 26 March 2021, during the 7th meeting of the National Government – Bangsamoro Government Intergovernmental Relations Body (IGRB), the DOF suggested the inclusion of the mining companies located in BARMM in the review.

There are currently ten (10) mining companies in the BARMM with Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) and four (4) of these are active nickel mining companies in the provinces of Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.