The Mines and Geosciences Bureau-IX hosted a blended Regional Mining Forum on November 25, 2020 at the La Casa Maria Hotel. Participants to the said forum such as members of the Regional Development Council (RDC-IX) and MPSA/EP and ISAG contract/permit holders within the Region, have joined the said forum via Zoom to ensure that safety health protocols were strictly observed.
RD Hernani Abdon, Ramil Mundo (OIC-MMD) and Ramon Alforte, (OIC-MSESDD) presented among RDC-IX members, the mining laws and its related polices, giving highlights to the economic growth, environmental protection and social equity anchored towards sustainable development framework in pursuing MGB's advocacy on responsible mining. Other resource persons also include Winnie Ramos from the Environmental Management Bureau-IX and Atty. Pinky Grace Pareja, NCIP-IX Regional Director, who discussed ECC requirements and FPIC process, respectively.
As a backgrounder. the Economic Development Committee (EDCom) of the RDC-IX during its 3rd Quarter Regular Meeting on 24 August 2018, pointed out that the mining industry has a great potential to be a key growth driver in the Philippine economy. It noted that responsible mining can spur economic growth, generate employment, and contribute to the country’s foreign exchange earnings. When the RDC-IX convened during its 163rd Regular Meeting, the EDCom recommended that a mining forum should be conducted thus RDC-IX Resolution No. 063, series of 2018 was issued, “Requesting Mines and Geosciences Bureau IX to Conduct Regional Forum on Mining". The same endeavor supported DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu's pronouncement that mining could contribute to the recovery efforts of the government relative to COVID 19 pandemic, through its Bayanihan to Heal as One program.
A pre-forum workshop was also conducted by National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) IX, in coordination with Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) IX, on October 3, 2019 in Zamboanga City. The activity generated initial issues and concerns and corresponding recommendations with respect to mining and other extractive activities. The event was actively participated in by representatives from the large and small-scale mining industry, industrial sand and gravel permittees, concerned line agencies and LGUs, and fisherfolks.