Group to start review of DENR orders | Inquirer Business

Group to start review of DENR orders

Finance chief says ‘following due process is not recommendatory’
By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 12:16 AM February 20, 2017
Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III  INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

As the Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) meets today (Monday)to start the review of the mining operations earlier suspended by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III has assured stakeholders that the process would undergo due process.

Dominguez told reporters last Friday that the MICC technical working group tasked to do the review would start off with an organizational meeting to implement Resolution No. 6, which he and Environment Secretary Regina Lopez signed last Feb. 9 as MICC co-chairs.

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Resolution No. 6 called for the establishment of a multistakeholder review of the DENR’s orders to shut down mines in 10 provinces as mandated under Executive Order No. 79.

“The 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, especially of the poor,” the resolution said.

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The MICC was also ordered to “advise the DENR on the performance of existing mining operations in consultation with local government units (LGUs),” according to the resolution.

Asked to comment on Lopez’s pronouncements that the MICC would only be recommendatory in nature such that the DENR would have the final say on the suspension as well as closure orders of more than 80 mining operations and contracts, Dominguez pointed out that “following due process is not recommendatory.”

“That is the law. The law is not recommendatory—the law is to be followed. And we are reminding that this is the law,” Dominguez said.

The Finance chief noted that the MICC resolution pointed out that “it’s important to follow the due process.”

As for last week’s additional orders covering 75 mineral production sharing agreements (MPSAs), Dominguez said the MICC must first know what was specifically ordered by the DENR.

“We don’t know exactly what was done. Was it a notice of cancellation or a notice of show cause? So we have to check in each case,” Dominguez said.

“Each case is different, because they are individual contracts. And I’m not sure if all the contracts have the same terms. And as the Office of the Solicitor General said during the [Feb. 9 MICC] meeting, what is the law is the contract, the law between the parties is the contract, so you have to look at the contract,” Dominguez added.

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TAGS: Business, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, economy, mining, Mining Industry Coordinating Council, Philippine news updates
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