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MICC to audit mining sector anew by March
The inter-agency Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) is once again set to audit 14 mining areas nationwide between March and June this year.
This, as the government continues to address the impact of mining operations on the environment.
“We want the same teams, same scope, same teams, if they still want to,” Finance Undersecretary Bayani Agabin told journalists as Philippine News Agency reported.
Agabin said they aim to start the audit by March because it is hard to visit the mines during the rainy season.
Last year, the MICC sent several experts from the mining industry and academe to audit 26 firms, whose mining sites were earlier ordered closed by former Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Regina Lopez.
Agabin said this year’s audit will “essentially (be) the same but there are some improvements that we think can be done.”
The budget for this year’s audit is expected to be around the same as last year’s PHP25 million, but he stressed that this remains “subject to budget being approved” since the government is currently operating on re-enacted budget.
Agabin said the Department of Finance (DOF) contributed PHP15 million to fund last year’s audit while the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) contributed PHP10 million.