The final draft implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Executive Order (EO) 130 is now awaiting the signature of Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, according to Mines and Geosciences Bureau’s (MGB) top official. 

This is more than two months since President Rodrigo Duterte signed EO 130, which amended the Aquino Administration’s EO 79 and lifted the country’s nine-year ban on new mining projects.

In a text exchange, MGB Director Wilfredo Moncano said the IRR is still in the office of Cimatu for final signature.  

MGB Director Wilfredo Moncano (Photo credit:

He also noted that the IRR no longer needs to be forwarded to Malacanang for President Duterte’s signature.

During the third week of May, MGB conducted a two-day consultation meeting with different stakeholders for the draft IRR of EO 130. The meeting was attended by mining companies, non-government organizations (NGOs), the academe, among others. MGB also released the first draft of the IRR during the meeting.

Moncano told Business Bulletin that the final draft of the IRR basically has the same provisions as the first draft, but the Department of Finance (DOF) made suggestions on the final crafting of the draft.

“[DOF’s suggestions and comments were] more of polishing the draft to be better understood,” Moncano said. “That is basically it.”

Among the salient features of the draft IRR would be the provision that lifted the nationwide ban on the open-pit mining method.

Under the first draft of the three-page IRR, the government repealed, amended, and modified several department orders of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) that were issued in the past.

This includes Department Administrative Order (DAO) 2017-10, which banned open-pit mines in the country for the reasons that they “have ended up as perpetual liabilities [on the part of the government], causing adverse impacts to the environment, particularly due to the generation of acidic and/or heavy metal-laden water, erosion of mine waste dumps and/or vulnerability of tailings dams to geological hazards.”

During the consultation meeting on the draft IRR of EO 130, one of the biggest concerns of the stakeholders was Section 7 of the IRR, a provision on the engagement of local government and communities.

Under this section, no mining project shall proceed without the issuance of the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC), and that the engagement of local government units (LGUs) and communities should be ensured in all the processes only under the Philippine Environmental Impact Assessment (EIS) System.

Green Thumb Coalition convener and Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) National Coordinator Jaybee Garganera asked MGB why the engagement with LGUs and communities has been reduced to the drafting of the EIS report.

Leon Dulce, the National Coordinator for Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment, likewise asked MGB how to ensure social acceptability given the said provision.  

As a response, Moncano said in compliance with Ease of Doing Business Law and to expedite the mining application process, the national government proposes that ECC is sufficient if, during public consultation, no objection was expressed on the part of the LGUs.

He likewise noted that the decision of the LGUs and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) to endorse a mining project is beyond MGB’s control.

Source: Manila Bulletin (