Bantay Kita calls on DENR to uphold process of public consultations in application for exploration permit
Bantay Kita, a national coalition advocating for enhanced natural resource governance, appeals to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to uphold process of meaningful public consultations as it lifts the moratorium on applications for exploration permit of metallic and non-metallic minerals through Administrative Order 2018-13.
Exploration will determine an area’s mineral potential. This can guide government in identifying if and how much minerals it is willing to develop.
“Exploration requires consent from local government units and communities. We welcome information that would help stakeholders make evidence-based decisions. We expect that necessary data and documents are disclosed to them so that they can arrive at factual conclusions. We urge that the consent process be genuinely applied, and decisions made by stakeholders be respected,” Bantay Kita Coordinator Tina Pimentel stressed.
Executive Order (EO) 79 S. 2012, Section 4 allows the granting of exploration permits, despite the moratorium on issuance of mineral agreements. It also states the exploration permit grantee shall be given the right of first option to apply for development of minerals in the exploration site.
EO 79 Section 6 provides that “mining rights and mining tenements over areas with known and verified mineral resources and reserves, including those owned by the Government and all expired tenements, shall be undertaken through competitive public bidding.”
“In light of the lifting of the exploration moratorium, we implore the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) to prepare the guidelines for competitive public bidding, with emphasis on transparency and citizen engagement at the soonest. We also appeal to the DENR to release the results of the mining audit which is said to be the basis for the lifting of the exploration permit moratorium,” Ms. Pimentel concluded.