Consultation and planning workshop

ASGM Technical Working Group Consultation and Planning Workshop

The artisanal small-scale gold mining (ASGM) sector will have a consultation meeting to assess the present state of ASGM operations in the country, toward recommending legislative changes to address its issues and concerns, and formulating a medium-term National Action Plan to ensure a sustainable response.

A consultation and planning workshop among government and key private stakeholders in the ASGM sector will be conducted on 12-14 February 2019 in Quezon City to assess its current problems, as well as identify solutions to sustainably address them. The ASGM-Technical Working Group (TWG) consultation workshop will forward policy legislative changes to enhance the present small-scale mining law, as well as develop a medium-term National Action Plan (NAP) to provide directions for small-scale mining programmes in the country. The workshop provides a venue for partners of the ILO-CARING Gold Mining Project, including government, mining associations and federations, local government units, and other key atakeholders, the opportunity to recommend strategies to address various issues in ASGM. Special focus will be on ASGM operations that result in child labour and poor working conditions, not just in pilot areas of the Project in Camarines Norte and South Cotabato, but in other ASGM areas in the country as well.

The ILO-CARING Gold Mining Project is supported by the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL). ASGM operations in the Philippines are largely illegal and outside the reach of government regulatory mechanisms, including labour administration systems. This is essentially why the sector continues to face challenges and issues of uncertainty, instability and violations of labour and other social standards. It is, thus, important to support the sector's transition to legality and formality. A key action that needs to be undertaken is the enhancement of Republic Act No. 7076, or the People's Small-Scale Mining Act of 1991, as well as the formulation of a NAP on small-scale mining, which will serve as the roadmap toward making the sector legal, responsible and economically viable. Although R.A. No. 7076 seeks to address social, economic, technical and environmental problems connected with small-scale mining, it is generally seen by key ASGM stakeholders as outdated, and provides a major stumbling block in the formalization of the sector.

Through the years, many consultation meetings had been conducted to come up with legislative recommendations on how best to make the law effectively respond to present challenges. Although of these policy proposals had been incorporated in actual amendatory Bills, these still need important follow-through action. The following action points are sought to be realized at the end of the ASGM-TWG consultation and planning workshop: (a) a consensus regarding the real state of ASGM in the country; (b) the gaps that may be addressed by the different stakeholders; (c) an appropriate legislative proposal to respond to the concerns besetting the sector; and (d) a medium-term NAP to ensure a sustainable response for the development of the sector.