MINE OPERATIONS REVIEW. The Mine Rehabilitation Fund Committee (MRFC) recently convened to evaluate the Annual Environmental Protection and Enhancement Programs of the large-scale mining projects in Region 2.
The MRFC manages, operates and monitors the safety of the MRFs of the mining companies in the region, namely; Dinapigue Mining Corporation, FCF Minerals Corporation, and OceanaGold Philippines, Incorporated.
The Mine Rehabilitation Fund or MRF is a requirement for each operating contractor or permit holder as an environmental deposit to ensure availability of funds for the satisfactory compliance with its commitments. The fund, which shall be deposited as a trust fund in a government depository bank, will be used for physical and social rehabilitation of areas and communities affected by mining activities and for research on the social, technical and preventive aspects of rehabilitation.
Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Director Mario Ancheta chairs the committee with Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn Bambalan of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) as co-chair.
During the meeting presided over by Director Ancheta, the mining companies also presented updates on their rehabilitation funds including project implementation, and their compliance with the findings and recommendations of the Multipartite Monitoring Team (MMT).
In her message, RED Bambalan has urged the members of the monitoring team to treat themselves as the research arm of the MRFC by providing recommendations that would aid in decision-making and for the improvement of the operations of the mining companies.
"We need lessons. We need good practices on mining operations as inputs on policy ammendments. We really have to balance development and conservation," the DENR Region 2 chief emphasized.
She cited the importance of the committee and the contributions of mining to national economy. "We in the DENR, however, are mandated to strictly monitor compliance of mining companies with all the environmental rules and regulations," she added.
The regional environment chief has also expressed her appreciation to the mining companies for their support to the government’s National Greening Program.
It can be recalled that the FCF Minerals and OGPI have earlier forged a memorandum of agreement with the DENR for the comprehensive development of 190 hectares of forestland into agroforestry and forest plantation. This is in compliance with the department’s tree replacement scheme for all trees that will be cut due to mining activities.#