The Mines and Geosciences Bureau RXI is conducting series of information and education activities to different municipalities in the region.
The main objective is to disseminate information on the recent policies in the mining industry such as the one passed by the present Aquino Administration, the Executive Order 79, highlighting the changes which the present Aquino Administration hopes to infuse into the industry.
Areas close to mining under EO 79 have been extended such as, among others, critical and proclaimed watersheds, national parks, provincial/municipal forests, bird sanctuaries, marine parks, areas under the National Integrated Protected Areas Systems (NIPAS), prime agricultural lands covered by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), plantations devoted to valuable crops, fish refuge or sanctuaries declared by the Department of Agriculture; tourism areas identified by National Tourism Development Plan (e.g. Aliwagwag, Lake Leonard, Mt. Hamiguitan, Mainit National Park, Samal Island, Mt. Apo National Park), island ecosystem such as the Samal Island, and other areas that have high biodiversity value to the communities living nearby.
Other points highlighted in the said policy is the governance of Republic Act 7076 over small-scale mining operations which will be undertaken only inside a Minahang Bayan. And as stressed in EO 79, small-scale mining shall not be applicable to metallic minerals except gold, silver and chromite with clear prohibition on the use of mercury.
The government under EO 79 now considers small scale mining as a formal sector, hence, support is now given to small scale mining such as assistance for the legalization of the small scale mining cooperatives and fast tracking of the identification, assessment and declaration of the Minahang Bayans.