If all mining applications in the Cordillera region were approved, it would cover 1.7 million of the 1.8 million hectares of the entire region.
By Lyn V. Ramo
Posted by Bulatlat.com
BAGUIO CITY- If all the applications for Financial and Technical Assistance Agreements (FTAAs), Mineral Production Sharing Agreements (MPSA) and exploration permits (EPAs) in the Cordillera were approved, only a very small portion of the region’s 1.8 million-hectare total land area will be left for other uses.
Cordillera Mines and Geo-Science Bureau Director Neoman dela Cruz said in a press conference last week that there are 11 FTAA, 36 MPSA and 46 EPAs applications, all of them new, covering a total of 1.7 million hectares. Of these, 10 MPSAs and two exploration permits have been approved. The bureau is still evaluating FTAAs for the environment secretary’s evaluation and for the president’s final approval, dela Cruz said.
He did not specify the provinces covered by mining applications but he confirmed that these are located in all of the six provinces in the region.
Dela Cruz said that the department has set up a one-stop shop to expedite the processing of mining applications. Under the new system, De la Cruz said, the processing of mining applications will only take weeks as compared to the old processing which took months or years.
“There is a streamlining of processing procedures,” dela Cruz told the press, adding that the aim is to achieve zero backlog in the processing mining permits.
Dela Cruz noted an influx of foreign companies wishing to do business in the Cordillera. He did not mention specific companies but said that these are mostly Australian, Canadian and U.S. multinational companies.
Meanwhile, the 52nd Annual National Mine Safety and Environment Week started with a caravan from the National Capital Region to Baguio City today. Several activities, including sports games, a symposium for mining engineers, the traditional secretary’s night and the annual awards night are among the highlights of this year’s celebration.
In a related development, the 3rd Small Scale Mining Convention honored Benguet small scale miners in a day-long activity at the Athletic Bowl. Northern Dispatch/Posted by Bulatlat