Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Zambales governor challenges DENR order

IBA, Zambales – Governor Amor Deloso charged environment Secretary Jose Atienza Jr. for usurpation of powers of the local government units in formulating its own policies in government its own mining industries, and for the unconstitutionality of the DENR Administrative Order No. 2008-20 pertaining to issuance of mineral ore export permit.

Deloso made his charge in a petition for prohibition, with application for restraining order, filed with the Court of Appeals, saying the order was an unlawful usurpation of legislative power vested by the Constitution.

“We have filed a case and asked the Court of Appeals to stop the DENR from implementing the Administrative Order 2008-20 which was issued by Secretary Atienza in September, 2008, because it is unconstitutional and therefore, void,” Deloso said.

According to Atienza, the DAO 2008-20 aims to eradicate the under-evaluation, misdeclaration and red tape in the exportation of mineral ores and the improvement of tax collection. It also covers the guidelines for filing, processing and issuance of Mineral Ore Export Permit (MOEP) for transport or shipment of mineral ore outside of the country, including tailings by permit holders and other mining rights holders, including small scale mining permits.

But Deloso said that under the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 (RA 7942), any mined ores to be exported should have an Ore Transport Permit (OTP); and that all mineral ores to be transported shall be accompanied by an OTP issued by the DENR regional director.

“The law also states that in case of mineral ores being transported from small scale mining areas, the Provincial Mining Regulatory Board shall formulate its own policies to govern such transport of ores produced,” Deloso said.

“The DAO 2008-20 which is expanding the law is already an amendment of RA 7942,but any administrative order cannot supersede a Republic Act which was enacted by the Congress. Therefore, Atienza’s order is unconstitutional,” he added.

Deloso also mentioned that in addition to the requirement of OTP, the entity engaged in the trading of mineral products has to be registered with the Department of Trade and Industry.

“Atienza’s law will make our people who rely on small mining industry more miserable for the loss of millions of pesos in extraction fees and other local taxes due to additional and unreasonable burden of applying for MOEP in the Office of Secretary,” Deloso said.

By. Randy Datu - Manila Bulletin

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