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Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu signed the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Executive Order (EO) No. 130 which lifts a nine-year moratorium on new mineral agreements  in the country.

In a bid to help in economic recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic, President Rodrigo Duterte signed on April 14, 2021 EO No. 130 amending the provision of Section 4 (Grant of Mineral Agreements Pending New Legislation) of EO No. 79.

A technical working group composed of officials and technical personnel from DENR and MGB formulated the IRR under DENR Administrative Order (DAO) No. 2021-25 re: “Implementing Rules and Regulations of Executive Order 130 entitled: Amending Section 4 of E.O. No. 79, S. 2012, Institutionalizing and Implementing Reforms in the Philippine Mining Sector, Providing Policies and Guidelines to Ensure Environmental Protection and Responsible Mining in the Utilization of Mineral Resources,” and was signed by Sec. Cimatu on August 2 following a two-day consultative meeting with stakeholders last May.

The said IRR, which took effect 15 days after its publication in a newspaper of general circulation and registration with the Office of the National Administrative Register, provides streamlined procedures and requirements for the processing and approval of new mining applications.

Among the salient provisions of the IRR include: renegotiation of existing mining contracts and agreements to maximize government revenues and share from production; review and recommendation of appropriate measures to rationalize existing sharing schemes and mechanisms; and declaration of areas covered by Mineral Agreements into mineral reservation.

DAO No. 2021-25 also provides for the strict implementation of mine safety, environment and social development policies, including compliance of mining contractors/permit holders with the recommended measures of the Mining Industry Coordinating Council, based on the result of the completed objective, fact-finding, science-based review of mining operations.