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Int'l - Group backs ban on coastal mining

The Offshore Mining Chamber of the Philippines (OMCP) has signified its support for a proposal to ban sand mining in some coastal towns in the Ilocos region to prevent shoreline erosion.

The Offshore Mining Chamber of the Philippines (OMCP) has signified its support for a proposal to ban sand mining in some coastal towns in the Ilocos region to prevent shoreline erosion.

In a statement, OMCP said since it is relatively a new mining concept, only those with the expertise and proper technology should be allowed to undertake mining operations in offshore areas, not in shorelines.

OMCP endorsed the guidelines issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) last May 16, 2016 that prohibits mining within 500 meters from the shorelines to offshore, as well as mining 200 meters from the shoreline to inland areas of any coastal town.

It also said proper and adequately evaluated Environmental Compliance Certificates must be secured first from the DENR-Environmental Management Bureau and dredgers and mining vessel must obtain Environmental Impact Assessment from country of design and/or manufacture.

The guidelines state that entities involved in offshore mining or dredging must have an ISO Certificate for their offshore mining or dredging standards of operation for environmental protection and ecological balance.

Offshore mining firms must be adequately capitalized as environmentally safe and ecologically balanced offshore mining vessels are capital intensive, complete with experienced technical people.

Likewise, OMCP said an entity must have obtained an approval for the Feasibility of Mining Declaration and Environmental Protection and Enhancement Program from the DENR's Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB).

It must also have an approved public consultation and acceptance of the local community and resolution from the local government units signifying no objection to the offshore mining or dredging activity.

Before any export shipment can be done, there must be a mineral ore export permit (MOEP) no less duly passed upon by the Bureau of Internal Revenue for the proper payment 4 percent of excise taxes and proper payment of mineral reservation fees to DENR-MGB of 5 percent.\

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