• MICC unit to review operations of closed mines

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    A technical working group created under the Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) is set to meet today, Monday, to fulfill its mandate to review the operations of 28 mining sites closed or suspended by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

    According to a memorandum issued by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), a multi-stakeholder team formed under MICC Resolution 6 will review “existing mining operations in consultation with local government units (LGUs), which review shall be based on the guidelines and parameters set forth in the specific mining contract and in other pertinent laws, taking into account the valid exercise of the State’s police power to serve the common good of the poor.”

    Resolution 6 was approved by the MICC in its February 9 meeting.

    “The technical working group, (that is) the one going to do the reviews. That was part of the board resolution, so they’re going to implement it on Monday. They will decide what to do,” Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd, who co-chairs the MICC, told reporters over the weekend.

    The review team will also include representatives from relevant government agencies and institutions.

    Invitations were sent to the co-chairpersons of the MICC–Dominguez and Regina Lopez of the DENR, along with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Director General Ernesto Pernia of NEDA.

    Also invited to the meeting were Secretaries Ramon Lopez of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Ismael Sueno of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Benjamin Diokno of Budget and Management (DBM), Alfonso Cusi of Energy (DOE), Emmanuel Pinol of Agriculture (DA), Rafael Mariano of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Vitaliano Aguirre III of Justice (DOJ), Silvestre Bello III of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and Judy Taguiwalo of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

    Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr., Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, Solicitor General Jose Calida, Undersecretary Ferdinand Cui Jr. of the Presidential Management Staff (PMS), Chairperson Leonor Oralde-Quintayo of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, and Executive Director Sandra Paredes of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) were also invited to the meeting.

    Earlier, the MICC affirmed the primacy of both “procedural and substantive” due process in the final resolution of DENR’s series of actions on existing mineral production sharing agreements (MPSAs).

    “As discussed during the MICC meeting…there is a need to observe due process. Due process is both substantive and procedural. Substantive due process means that there are valid grounds in law to support the cancellation. Procedural due process means the procedure for cancellation as provided for in the contract or under relevant laws were followed,” said DOF Undersecretary Bayani Agabin, who heads the DOF’s Legal Services Group.

    MICC Resolution 6, which was signed by both Lopez and Dominguez, stressed that both the DENR and the Council “recognize the requirements of due process in the applicable mining laws, rules and regulations.”

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