A Synopsis of Mining Law for
The Philippine Mining Act of 1995 (Republican Act No. 7942) instituted a "new system of mineral resources exploration, development, utilization, and conservation." The Act establishes the Mines and Geosciences Bureau of the Philippine Department of Environmental and Natural Resources as the government's primary for enforcement agency.
The Central Office of the Mining Environment and Safety Division of the Bureau states that it is responsible for "mine safety and health audit[s]" , and coordinating "the national program on safety and health in mining operations". The Division's regional office indicates that it is responsible for "enforcement and monitoring compliance with the environmental and safety provisions" of the Act including the "Mine Waste and Safety and Health Program."
Chapter XI (Safety and Environmental Protection), Sections 63 through 68 of the Act sets out the basic law concerning mine safety and environmental protection. The law provides that:
- the minimum age for underground mine work shall be 18 and 16 for other phases of mining;
- mining and quarrying operations with 50 or more employees shall employ at least one mining engineer with 5 years of experience and 1 registered foreman;
- the regional director shall have "have exclusive jurisdiction over the safety inspection of all installations....at reasonable hours of the day or night and as much as possible in a manner that will not impede or obstruct work in progress of a contractor or permittee."
- the regional director shall have the power to issue orders to require compliance with rules and regulations and may, in cases "of imminent danger to life or property", summarily suspend mining or quarrying operations; and
- the "person in charge" of mining or quarrying operations shall report all accidents or incidents "creating a danger of loss of life or serious physical injuries" to the regional office.
The Bureau can be reached at: http://www.mgb.gov.ph/