With the thrust of the Government to formalize the small-scale mining sector, there is a need to fast track the processing and evaluation of proposed “Minahang Bayan” (MB) areas. However, the declaration of MB areas is being confronted by issues and uncertainties regarding the coverage of stringent measures and requirements, including those of the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) as prescribed in the Department Administrative Order (DAO) No. 2015-03, the revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act (RA) No. 7076, specifically on the Conduct of Free Prior and Informed Consent, which shall consider under Section 7 of RA 7076 (prior the declaration of MB) and Section 59 of RA 8371, Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act (prior the issuance of contract), among others.

In line with this, a small group of representatives from Mines and Geosciences Bureau and NCIP recently held a meeting last March 14 – 15, 2019, in Baguio City to discuss and harmonize the concerns besetting the declaration of MBs and issuance of small-scale mining contracts. The small group revisited the flowchart of requirements in the application for the declaration of “People’s Small-Scale Mining Areas” or MBs and the issuance of “People’s Small-Scale Mining Contract”.

The final output of the meeting would be presented to the En Banc Meeting of the NCIP which will be scheduled this week and whatever would be approved by the Commission will be incorporated as relevant inputs on the streamlining of DAO No. 2015-03.

By: Mining Technology Division

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Participants on the MGB – NCIP Small Group Meeting; March 14 – 15, 2019, Baguio City

Front Row; (from left to right) MGB CAR Staff, Ms. Fara Joice Hornedo (MGB-CO – LSD);Director Jeanette A. Florita (NCIP LAO-CO);

MGB-CAR Staff; Ms. Alma Sario (DENR-CO)

 Second Row, (from left to right) Engr. Joel A. Natividad (MGB-CO); Engr. Teodorico A. Sandoval (MGB-CO); Engr. Alfredo J. Genetiano (MGB-CAR);

Regional Director Roland Calde (NCIP-CAR); Atty. Arthur Herman (NCIP-LAO); Engr. Gilbert V. Ayugat (MGB-CAR); and Atty. Francisco M. Bilog (MGB-CAR)