A two-day workshop with various stakeholders in artisanal and small-scale gold mining was held on 22-23 September in Monkayo, Compostela Valley attended by a total of 60 participants coming from various sectors.
A workshop was facilitated by Mr. Melvin Lamanilao, a freelance consultant on natural resource management. He asked participants to compare the situation in Mt. Diwata decades ago from 1980s to recent years and show their observations to the audience. Most participants raised issues such as destruction of the environment and depletion of natural resources including trees, animals, and gold. Some also raised the issue of irresponsible mining causing the problems they face in their environment.
Ms. Beverly Besmanos, BK Mindanao subnational coordinator, presented the stages of a mining operation from exploration to decommissioning. She also gave an overview of the various programs mining companies need to have such as a social development and management program, an environmental protection and enhancement program, a final mine rehabilitation and decommissioning plan on top of an environmental compliance certificate that companies need to secure. She moved on to present the various taxes and payments companies need to pay including royalty payments to indigenous peoples which has to be at least 1% of gross revenues.
Mrs. Alma Andoy of the council of women in Mt. Diwata raised that prior to the event, nobody knew of the IP royalty payments that are due to them.