1637f Legislation and best practices in small-scale mining in the philippines

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Abstract

This study analyses the small-scale mining activities and the best practices for mercury-free gold mining. The data were based on literature, national laws and modules for small-scale mining, as well as interviews of major stakeholders in small scale mining in the Philippines. Currently, there are two national legislations on small-scale mining and an executive order to compliment these national laws, Presidential Decree 1899, which allowed for small-scale mining in the Philippines, and Republic Act 7076, which introduced guidelines for local miners on artisanal mining. Executive Order 79 prohibits the use of mercury in small-scale mining, however it goes against other legislative acts in place regulating the use of mercury for industrialization. Furthermore, the Order states that small-scale mining is not allowed outside the ‘Minahang Bayan (People’sMining)’, which was established to regulate small-scale mining. This is inconsistent with President Decree 1899 which allows for mining activities. There are thousands of illegal small-scale mining, as they cannot adhere to the administrative requirements set by the local government units. Hence, there is a need to revise and amend the existing laws to serve and benefit the local Filipino miners. Among the best practices in the approach to mercury-free mining in the Philippines showed the need for a participatory approach among major stakeholders such as the small scale miners, local government, and civil society-advocacy groups, the need for technical knowledge of shifting to mercury-free mining, respect for culture of the indigenous miners, and capacitating strategies to maintain the mercury-free technology in mining. There are also corollary programs aimed to promote mining revenue, compliance among miners for increased awareness, and to decrease hazards and conflicts. Hence, there is a need for the following- a ground-to-top reformulation of the law to cater to the needs of the miners and a harmonisation of national laws with international guidelines.

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