Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu is looking forward to a “more efficient and environmentally sustainable” mining in the country with the recent signing of a landmark mining cooperation agreement between the Philippines and Japan.
“We are gradually entering into a new realm and climbing greater heights when it comes to mining with this cooperation with the Japanese government,” Cimatu said.
The Philippines, through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), recently signed a three-year memorandum of cooperation (MOC) with Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) to promote and carry out cooperative activities toward sustainable mining in both countries.
The MOC was signed on August 16 in Tokyo by Minister Yoshihiko Isozaki of METI and DENR Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and International Affairs Jonas Leones on Cimatu’s behalf. The agreement came into effect from the date of signing until 2022.
It aims to strengthen cooperation in the mining industries between the Philippines and Japan. The two countries agreed to support each other in promoting sustainable development in their respective mining and mineral resources sectors.
Both countries were hoping to strengthen their ties through regular dialogues and cooperation in the areas of mining policy on exploration, development and operation; information sharing on supply-demand trends; and best practices of sustainable development and operation in mining.
Other areas of concern are security in exploration, development and operation of mines; appropriate environmental impact assessment; and improvement of investment environment to attract more investors to the mining sector.
In line with the MOC, the Philippines’ Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) and the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp. (JOGMEC) entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for environmental cooperation covering the fiscal year 2019.
MGB and JOGMEC agreed to undertake measures to protect the environment and rehabilitate the areas affected by mining operations, as provided for in the MOC signed by the DENR and METI.
Under the MOU, a total of 15 personnel from the MGB central office and regional offices will be sent to Japan to undergo an 11-day training on mine pollution control and environmental policies to be administered by JOGMEC. The training will be held in two batches: October 2019 and January 2020.
The MOU was signed by MGB acting director Wilfredo Moncano and JOGMEC executive vice president Hajime Ikeda.
Japan, once a world class producer of metals, now has 5,000 suspended and abandoned mines throughout the country and JOGMEC has been rehabilitating mines and working on mine pollution control since the 1970s. ###