On May 31, 2021, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) issued MGB Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 2021-006 in re: Safety and Health, Environment, and Social Development and Management (SHES) Manual which shall serve as guide for the Mining Contractors/Permit Holders/Permittees in the development and implementation of specific and sound SHES management practices during all the phases of mineral exploration/mining/mineral processing projects that are covered by Republic Act No. 7942 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations. The review of the existing annotated outlines and guidelines was inclined towards harmonization of SHES requirements with the Principle of Sustainable Development, that is both pro-people and pro-environment.

The SHES Manual is comprised of guidelines for the implementation of and annotated outline for the preparation of SHES plan and programs, such as Safety and Health Program; Environmental Work Program; Environmental Protection and Enhancement Program; Final Mine Rehabilitation and/or Decommissioning Plan; and Social Development and Management Program.

As provided in the said MGB MC, plans and/or programs already under the review of the MGB and/or other interagency Committees (e.g. Mine Rehabilitation Fund Committee (MRFC), Contingent Liability and Rehabilitation Fund Steering Committee (CLRFSC), etc.) upon its effectivity need not be revised accordingly.  Moreover, new plan and programs to be submitted to and processed by MGB shall subscribe with the specifics provided in the SHES Manual.

The standardized guidelines and outlines are intended to be used by all Mining Contractors/Permit Holders/Permittees, the MGB Central Office (CO) and its Regional Offices, including other interagency committees (e.g. MRFC, CLRFSC, etc.) for the preparation, review, evaluation, and approval of the above-mentioned SHES plan and programs.

The conceptualization and preparation of the SHES Manual evolved from a series of virtual meetings of Mine Safety, Environment and Social Development Division (MSESDD), MGB-CO personnel during the height of community quarantine. Hence, it is said to be the brainchild of MSESDD during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

Prior to its effectivity, the subject MGB MC was published in a newspaper of general circulation on June 12, 2021 and was acknowledged by the Office of the National Administrative Register on June 22, 2021.

The full version of the SHES Manual can be accessed through this link: Safety and Health, Environment and Social Development

 

By: Mine Safety, Environment, and Social Development Division