DENR suspends 11 mining, quarrying permits in Rizal

Published December 10, 2020, 5:45 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has already suspended the permits of 11 mining and quarrying firms in Rizal following the flooding caused  by Typhoon Ulysses.

During the Senate inquiry Thursday on the state of the country’s forests and watersheds in relation to massive floods last month, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu disclosed the companies whose Mineral Production Sharing Agreements (MPSAs) were suspended effective December 2:

1. MPSA No. 070-97-IV of Asencio-Pinzon Aggregates Corp. (APAC);

2. MPSA No. 136-99-IV of San Rafael Development Corp. (SRDC);

3. MPSA No. 239-2007-IV of Montalban Millex Aggregates Corp. (MMAC);

4. MPSA No. 202-2004-IV of Hardrock Aggregates, Inc. (HAI);

5. MPSA Nos. 064-96-IV, 075-97-IV and 088-97-IV of Rapid City Realty and Development Corporation (RCRDC)

An MPSA is an agreement between the government and a company which gives the latter the right to mine within an area. The government, in return, shall have a share in the company’s production.

The DENR secretary referred to an order issued by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Region 4-A (Calabarzon) director Samuel Paragas amid the investigation on the cause of flooding in Rizal and Marikina during Typhoon Ulysses.

The same order also suspended the Mineral Processing Permits (MPPs) of the following firms:

1. MPP No. 2017-002-IVA of Oxford Mines, Inc. (OMI);

2. MPP No. 2018-001-IVA of Viba Aggregates & Marketing (VAM);

3. MPP No. 2018-003-IVA of Amiterra Aggregates Corp. (AAC);

4. MPP No. 2019-002-IVA of Dream Rock Resources Phils., Inc. (DRRPI);

5. MPP No. 2019-003-IVA of Superior Aggregates, Inc.; and

6. MPP No. 2020-001-IV of ATN Holdings, Inc. (AHI).

An MPP refers to the permit granted to an individual or corporation to process and convert by-products into marketable products.

“The listed permits shall remain suspended until a joint assessment with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Composite Team has been completed and the cause of flooding in San Mateo and Rodriguez, Rizal and in Marikina City during Typhoon Ulysses on November 12, 2020 has been identified,” the order stated.

Late last month, the provincial government of Rizal ordered the stoppage of small-scale mining and quarrying operations and related activities within its jurisdiction due to the flooding.

Reading a letter from Rizal Governor Rebecca Ynares, former governor Casimiro “Jun” Ynares III called on the national government and the DENR to permanently stop large-scale mining and quarrying operations in their province.

They also appealed for greater participation of local government units in the DENR’s issuance of permits and in deciding over the disposition of their resources.

“Ang aming mga kababayan ang una po kasing dumadanas ng bunga ng labis na paggamit ng likas na yaman sa aming lalawigan (Our people are the ones who bear the brunt of the excessive use of the natural resources of our province),” Ynares said.

Cimatu, in the hearing, also said mining and quarrying are “a big no” in watersheds and all protected areas of the country.