As part of its capacity-building framework for transparency and accountability in the extractive industries, Bantay Kita (BK), supported by Revenue Watch Institute through the Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF), conducted a Training of Trainers (ToT) workshop on monitoring of the extractive industries (EI) value chain. It was held last May 13 to 14 at the Richmonde Hotel in Pasig City.
The ToT emphasized the legal, constitutional, and political aspects of the value chain in order to improve the capacity of communities in monitoring and assessing mining activities.
The training summarized what they should know about the Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) process, exploration, operation, and rehabilitation stages of mining. It also highlighted what information and documents the communities are entitled to have access to. More importantly, the training emphasized the rights of communities in each stage of mineral extraction.
Thirty-six (36) grassroots organizations representatives flew in from the following provinces to participate in the training: Davao City, Misamis Occidental, Bacolod City, Zamboanga Sibugay, Nueva Vizcaya, Pagadian City, Cebu City, Marinduque, Bukidnon, Cagayan Valley, Ozamis, Romblon, Palawan, Leyte, Agusan del Sur, and Samar.
Cielo Magno, Bantay Kita (BK) National Coordinator, explained that the purpose of the training is to develop a pool of experts, that will be able to reecho the content of the training to other organizations at the local level. BK also aimed to obtain feedback on how to further improve the training modules.
Before the training proper, the participants specified expected discussion points such as the implementation of the IP agenda, legal remedies, application of FPIC process in non-IP communities, identification of laws and frequent violations in the mining process, and ensuring the commencement of rehabilitation and decommissioning after closure.
The first ToT session covered topics under Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) as a remedial and protective measure, and identification of rights-holders and duty-bearers.
The rest of the modules discussed subsequent phases in exploration, operation, rehabilitation, and decommissioning. These modules provided the scope and working definitions of the phases as well as the required governance structure, payments, and permits.All modules presented applicable laws and frequent violations as well as gaps in the laws.
After each module, the participants were given the opportunity to ask questions. Most of the queries dealt with issues such as responsive and proper titling of indigenous territories, dynamics of FPIC implementation, monitoring of mining operations, re-echoing of capacity-building sessions, assessment of behavior of regulatory enforcement of agencies (e.g. NCIP, DENR, MGB, and PNOC), requisite third-party bodies, identification of red flags, and gains of movements in neighboring provinces.
The workshop concluded with a recap of the mining steps. The participants requested the development of additional materials on frequently asked questions, frequently encountered issues, concerned laws, and good practice guides.