The Development Academy of the Philippines will assist the government in the review process for the 26 mines ordered closed or suspended by former Environment secretary Regina Lopez early this year, the Finance Department said over the weekend.
The DoF said the Mining Industry Coordinating Council tapped the expertise of the academy to help in the implementation and management of the review process for the said mines.
Aside from handling the review, DAP will also be tasked to facilitate the procurement of duly-screened consultant/experts who will comprise the members of the five technical review teams of the MICC that will assess various aspects of the mining operations under scrutiny.
The DAP will also identify an overall team leader who will ensure the “timely and efficient conduct of the review” as well as “consolidate and summarize the periodic and final reports” that the TRTs will submit, Finance Undersecretary Bayani Agabin said.
The five TRTs will look at the environmental, economic, social, legal and technical aspects of the mining operations.
The cost of the procurement of experts is estimated at P13 million. Each technical review team member will be paid P100,000 per mine site reviewed.
The DoF said 31 out of the 35 experts shortlisted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources confirmed their availability for the review process.
The secretaries of the DOF and DENR co-chair the MICC.
Established in 1973, DAP is mandated to assist in the country’s development efforts in two ways: as change catalyst and as capacity builder.
The DAP has been assisting the government in shaping new policies, crafting innovative development programs and modernizing the management of government agencies and private enterprises.
Lopez ordered a review on the operations of all operating metallic mines in the country in February. Following the audit, she announced that 23 mining operations would be shuttered and five more would be suspended. Twelve mining companies passed the audit.
Lopez then announced that the government would cancel the mining contracts of 75 mining projects which she claimed were found within or near watersheds. She also ordered a ban on prospective open-pit mines.
Mining companies questioned the decision and filed an appeal with the DENR. Some companies also opted to file their appeal with the Office of the President.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the MICC already approved the terms of reference for the multi-stakeholder review to be conducted on mining operations across the country, starting with the 26 sites.
Dominguez said that during the MICC meeting on July 25 that the Finance Department and DENR agreed to shell out an initial P10 million each to get the review processes started.