The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is studying the integration of the “big brother-small brother” strategy within the social development and management programs (SDMP) of large mining companies.
DENR Secretary Antonia Loyzaga said it is high time for big mining firms to help small-scale miners meet their social development targets by setting aside a portion of their social development fund for the purpose.
“There must be a way to negotiate the resilience of communities where mining is happening, the social development needs to happen," Loyzaga said in a recent interview. "This way inclusivity in terms of the progress of the community as a whole can really be institutionalized," she added.
Secretary Loyzaga described the “big brother-small brother” strategy as one that would include capacitating small miners and enhancing the resilience of mining communities.
To make this happen, the DENR chief said there is a need to revisit the social development funding of large mining companies. “In this government, you cannot move forward with your for-profit agenda without a national dividend that redounds to a local community. And that’s the bottom line,” she said.
Secretary Loyzaga underscored that the Marcos administration is open for responsible miners who consider not only the environmental aspects of mining, but also promote social development.
DENR Administrative Order No. 2010-21, or the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act 7942, otherwise known as the Philippine Mining Act of 1995, requires mining contractors and permit holders to have an SDMP, which aims for the sustained improvement in the living standards of host and neighboring communities.
The SDMP has a timeline of five years, and is funded by the companies themselves by allocating 1.5 percent of their annual expenses.
Out of this allocation, 75 percent goes to community development, while 10 percent goes to the development of mining technology and geosciences, and the remaining 15 percent is used for an information, education, and communication campaign.
Loyzaga said that under the Marcos administration, the mining industry is open for responsible miners who consider not only the environmental aspects of mining, but also promote social development.
“In this government, you cannot move forward with your for-profit agenda without a national dividend that redounds to a local community. And that’s the bottom line,” she said. #
- Published: 08 May 2023