Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) recently signed Administrative Order (DAO) 2015-07 mandating all mining contractors to secure the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001 Certification.

DAO 2015-07 institutionalizes an environmental management system that ensures the adherence of local mining operations to international standards, particularly the ISO 14001 Certification, as a measure of responsible mining in the country.  It will ensure that appropriate measures are put in place to achieve minimal negative impacts of mining on the environment. 

As mandated under Executive Order No. 79, it will also guarantee the compliance of mining contractors with applicable mining and environmental laws, regulations, and requirements in mining operations while gearing towards growth.

The salient provisions of the said DAO include the following:

1.    It covers all holders of  valid and existing Mineral Agreement (MA) and Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) that are in the operating period;

2.    MA or FTAA holders engaged in metallic mining operations should secure the ISO 14001 Certification within one year from the date of said DAO;

3.    In the case of an MA or FTAA holder filing for a Declaration of Mining Project Feasibility (DMPF) for metallic mineral, the ISO 14001 Certification  should be secured within one year from receipt of the order approving the said DMPF;

4.    ISO 14001 Certification for MA or FTAA holders engaged in non-metallic mining operations is at their option within the same one year period.  Mandatory compliance shall be imposed thereafter under a deadline to be set at the appropriate time;

5.    Failure to secure or maintain the ISO 14001 Certification shall cause the suspension of the pertinent Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) and non-issuance of Ore Transport and/or Mineral Export Permit until such time that the said Certification is secured.

The DENR shall undertake a periodic review of the mining operations of all MA or FTAA holders in the operating period to ensure compliance with environmental standards, laws and regulations, including conditionalities of their ECCs and Environmental Protection and Enhancement Program.

An assessment team composed of technical experts from the DENR and other government agencies will be created to undertake said review and give pertinent recommendations to the DENR.

By: Mine Safety, Environment and Social Development Division