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POLICY BRIEF 3: House Bill (HB) No. 3763 or the Philippine Mineral Resources Act of 2010.

An Act to regulate the rational exploration, development and utilization of mineral resources and to ensure the equitable sharing of benefits for the state, indigenous peoples and local communities and for other purposes Introduced by Reps. Kaka Bag-ao, Walden Bello, Teddy Brawner Baguilat Jr., Rufus Rodriguez, Maximo Rodriguez, Carlos Padilla, and Roilo Golez The bill covers the exploration, development and utilization (EDU) of mineral resources onshore and quarry resources, excluding offshore mining, petroleum and coal, which are governed by special laws. It adheres to the equitable distribution of benefits while prioritizing the development of local communities. It also promotes shared responsibility among affected communities, local government units (LGUs), civil society, and mining proponents; thus, underscoring more sustainable options for land use. It includes support for communities dependent on small-scale mining, with the end goal of freeing them from such dependence. The ownership of natural resources within ancestral domains by indigenous peoples (IPs) is recognized, while the EDU of mineral resources is restricted to Filipino citizens. Used resources or those already extracted would be maximized, according to the bill. It also establishes a clear industrialization plan identifying strategic minerals. Mineral resources are owned by the state, except those within ancestral domains that belong to indigenous cultural communities (ICCS) and IPs. The Mines and Geosciences Bureau, under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), is tasked as the primary government agency that will regulate mining. It has the following powers and duties: conduct of researches; exclusive control over the conduct of exploration activities; monitoring and regulation; inventory of all mineral resources in the country; identification of strategic minerals; demarcation of mineral resources; centralized collation of information; annual publication of a mineral gazette; training of LGUs and communities; and deputization of civilians for regulation and monitoring. Affected communities and LGUs are defined as those hit by mining operations in relation to a watershed system, in reference to the land area drained by a stream or a fixed body of water and with tributaries having a common outlet for surface runoff; thus, including downstream communities wherein the water used for such operations passes through their respective territories. The bill establishes the Multi-Sectoral Mining Council (Council) is tasked to determine whether mining operations should be allowed, deliberate and approve proposals for mineral agreements, monitor operations, and establish rules of procedure. It is comprised of one representative from each of the following: the MGB; Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR); affected provincial governments, highly urbanized cities, or independent component cities; nongovernment organizations; and IP communities within the watershed system. The Council is also empowered to deliberate on proposed mineral agreements, issue permits, and approve for the issuance of the Environment and Social Impact Compliance Certificate. All areas are closed to mining operations unless opened by the Council as a result of deliberations and processing. Areas closed to mining, deemed as no-go zones, are specified as follows: head waters of watershed areas; areas with potential for acid mine drainage; critical watersheds; critical habitats; climate disaster-prone areas; geohazard areas; cultural sites, which may include, but not limited to,

sacred sites and burial grounds; traditional swidden farms and hunting grounds, and prime agricultural lands; community sites; key biodiversity areas; densely populated areas; high conflict areas; old growth or virgin forests, watershed forest reserves, wilderness area, mangrove forests, mossy forests, national parks, protection forests, provincial/municipal forests, parks, greenbelts, game refuge and bird sanctuaries and their respective buffer zones as defined by law and in areas expressly prohibited under the National Integrated Protected Area System (NIPAS) under Republic Act No. 7586, Department Administrative Order No. 25, series of 1992, and other laws. The Council enumerates the following requirements for mining applications: demonstration of financial capability; proven social and environmental track record, including those of its officers; clear corporate structure and ownership; physical office of the bidder within the Philippines; identification of potential investors; mining project feasibility; mining operation work plan; proposed operation, mitigation and prevention methods and/or equipment; capacity to process minerals; intent to develop downstream industries; intent to contribute to local community development; and submission of the Environmental and Social Impact Prevention and Mitigation Plan (ESIPMP), which replaces the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in the current law. The ESIPMP indicates the means, methods, processes and schedule for preventing or mitigating negative environmental and social impacts by the contractor. It includes implications on human rights, cultural rights and peace and security, as well as the Social Development Management Plan, which proposes sustainable infrastructures and programs for the community s development even after the mines closure. The bill significantly prohibits financial and technical assistance agreements (FTAAs). There are also additional conditions for stricter regulation. The auxiliary rights provided for by the previous law are removed. Private persons are barred as contractors of mineral exploration, which may only be conducted by the MGB. The maximum areas for mineral agreements, to be determined by the Council, must not go beyond 500 hectares (has). In any given watershed area, it must not exceed 750 has. Affected communities and LGUs are determined in relation to the watershed system, likely to be negatively impacted by mining operations in the demarcated area, as they depend on the watershed ecosystem and its resources. The assignment and transfer of mineral agreements are disallowed, wherein the maximum term for the contract is deemed at 15 years. Consultations with affected communities in each phase of mining operations, including the free, prior informed consent of indigenous peoples, are mandatory. The government secures at least a share equivalent to 10 percent of the gross revenues from the development and utilization of mineral resources it owns. The contractor also pays at least 10 percent of the gross revenues as royalty to the ICCs/IPs for mining operations within ancestral domains. Community development programs are not considered as royalty payment.

In support of the litigation-related activities of the Endefense Program, the Alternative Law Groups in partnership with the Foundation for the Philippine Environment and the Philippine Tropical Forest Conservation Foundation, provides information on policy proposals on the environment in the Executive through our Policy Briefs series, and in Congress with updates on relevant bills filed in the Senate and House of Representatives.

In support of the litigation-related activities of the Endefense Program, the Alternative Law Groups in partnership with the Foundation for the Philippine Environment and the Philippine Tropical Forest Conservation Foundation, provides information on policy proposals on the environment in the Executive through our Policy Briefs series, and in Congress with updates on relevant bills filed in the Senate and House of Representatives.