MICC starts 2nd mining review in March

Mary Grace Padin - The Philippine Star

15 more companies up for audit

MANILA, Philippines — The inter-agency Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) will start in March the second round of audit covering the operations of 15 mining firms in the country, the Department of Finance (DOF) said.

In an interview, Finance Undersecretary Bayani Agabin said MICC intends to conduct from March until June the second round of mining assessment, following the conclusion of its first audit last year.

“We are targeting to start by March because it’s the dry season and some of these mines, you cannot visit during the rainy season.  We will finish by June,” Agabin told reporters.

Agabin, who represents the DOF in the technical working group overseeing the MICC review, said the review will cover 15 mining companies.

“I think we are doing 15. We identified the companies already,” he said.

Agabin said majority of these 15 were part of the 40 mining operations initially audited by former environment secretary Gina Lopez during her term.

He said the upcoming assessment would be conducted with the same methodology and audit team as the first review, with some improvements in the scope, specifically on the social and economic aspect of the study.

“Essentially the same, but there are some improvements that we think can be done,” Agabin said.

He said the budget, which was a major constraint during the first round of review, would be less of a problem this time, but would still be subject to the approval of the 2019 national budget. The funding requirements will once again be shared between the DOF and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

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