MANILA, Philippines—In a bid to weed out “mere speculators,” the government is imposing higher minimum capital requirements and fees on companies applying for mining permits.
In a memorandum released on Friday, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) amended a 1999 department order and imposed an increase in the minimum authorized and paid-up capital requirements for mining applicants.
The new rates were recommended by Leo Jasareno, director of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB).
The minimum authorized capital for companies with pending applications for exploration permits (EP), mineral agreement and financial or technical assistance agreements (FTAA) will be P100 million, against the previous P10 million.
The paid-up capital requirement, on the other hand, should not be lower than P6.25 million, compared to the previous P2.5 million.
Mining companies applying for FTAA must have at least P500 million in paid-up capital “upon the grant of the FTAA by the President” and prior to its registration with the MGB.
“All mining applicants with pending applications for EP, MA and FTAA must comply with the orders 60 days from its effectivity,” the DENR order said. Failure to comply will lead to the applications’ rejection, it said.
According to Jasareno, at least 500 mining applications were still pending with the MGB and majority of applicants had authorized shares lower than P100 million.
“Most of them have to increase their capital in two months, otherwise their applications will be denied,” Jasareno said.
The new mining policy was in accordance with Executive Order No. 79 issued by President Benigno Aquino III on July 6, 2012.
“We want to get rid of speculators who increase their revenues not by starting any projects but only through speculation,” Jasareno said.