ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
The Philippine government targets 15 Minahang Bayan sites next year, where large scale miners are restricted, an official said in an interview Tuesday.
"Our regional offices are targeting one Minahang Bayan site each next year... We have 15 regional offices," Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) director Leo Jasareno told GMA News Online.
Environment Secretary Ramon Paje earlier told reporters the bureau is already processing the applications for new Minahang Bayan sites.
Jasareno said there are currently six pending applications for Minahang Bayan declarations, three of which are located in Caraga (Region 13).
"We will be processing their applications and if we find they complied will all requirements, we will submit to the secretary for approval," he said.
Section 11 of Executive Order 79, which embodies the Aquino administration's new mining policy, allows only small-scale miners in Minahang Bayan sites, prohibiting large-scale mining companies from operating in the area.
The rule is pursuant to Republic Act No. 7076 or the People’s Small-Scale Mining Act of 1991.
"The intention is to provide subsistence for Filipinos through mining... hindi ito pang-matagalang negosyo kaya two years lang ang contract," said Jasareno.
In a Minahang Bayan only gold, silver and chromite are be mined as "other minerals are not economic for small miners," the MGB director added.
Jasareno said the Philippines currently has three Minahang Bayan sites in Quezon province, Dinagat Island, and Agusan del Norte.
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