Sans budget, DENR uses other technology

Despite the lack of budget, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, or DENR, is maximizing available technology to advance its digitization efforts to help simplify, if not fast-track, the processing of mining permits.

During his speech at the opening day of the Mining Philippines International Conference and Exhibition on Tuesday, DENR Undersecretary for Environment and Integrated Science Carlos Primo David admitted that securing documentary requirements in the mining industry remains tedious and acknowledged that the situation needs to be immediately addressed.

“Honestly, our digitalization has zero budget for this year but we have invested in DENR over the last few years since 2013 in utilizing a particular software called GIS or geographic information systems. It can easily identify mining sites and it would not require that much budget,” David said.


Papers processing slow

“For the industry, we hope that digitalization will fast-track and hasten the processing. The processing of papers right now is admittedly still quite slow. Digitization should address making our procedures more efficient, leading to shorter and more transparent processing permits and applications,” he added.

David noted that all DENR bureaus, except for the Mining and Geosciences Bureau or MGB, currently use GIS. He thus committed to delivering a more efficient and transparent system in MGB next year as an integral part of the government’s mining governance efforts.

According to David, the DENR commissioned PwC Philippines to reassess the agency’s process to eliminate bottlenecks that often delay the approval and release of mining permits.

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