Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental, where most of the region’s active mining operations are located, are reviewing mining exploration applications in a bid to eliminate speculators.
Compostela Valley Gov. Arturo T. Uy. has ordered the review of the mining applications following reports that some applicants were mere speculators and do not have the capacity to see their projects through. Uy said such groups just sell rights to mining areas they applied for to foreign companies.
This was also happening in Davao Oriental, said Gov. Corazon N. Malanyaon, who has asked the National government to give local governments the authority to decide on new mining applications.
Uy said applications for mining permits must be reviewed by the Provincial Mining Regulatory Board and not just approved automatically by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Malanyaon and Uy argued that the practice of filing the applications with just the National government denies local governments the authority to regulate mining operations within their areas of jurisdiction.
Uy said he expects the ongoing review to benefit small-scale miners because areas identified in the mining permits that would be cancelled will likely be turned over to them.