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Proposed mining profession law in the Philippines seen critical by geothermal sector

Geysir Drilling rig of Iceland Drilling on site on Biliran Island, Philippines (source: BiliranIsland.com)
Alexander Richter 1 Aug 2017

The National Geothermal Association of the Philippines is critical on a proposed legislation on the Mining Engineering Profession and suggests excluding its reference to energy sources and specifically exclude "geothermal energy extraction" from the bill.

At the recently held 14th Annual General Assembly of the National Geothermal Association, Attorney Fernando “Ronnie” Penarroyo presented implications to geothermal exploration and development in the proposed mining engineering profession bill in the Philippines.

In July 2016, Senator Antonio V. Trillanes IV introduced the now called “Mining Engineering Law of the Philippines” with the following reasoning. “… unauthourized activities have cause confusion in the Philippine Mining Industry particularly among Registered Mining Engineers because such activities tend to discriminate against the majority of Registered Mining Engineers and eliminate many of the rights and privileges already granted to them by RA4274 or the Mining Engineering Act of 1965.”

In his presentation, Ronnie Penarroyo presents details on how the new proposed bill refers to geothermal in the mining context, stating that it clearly states that “mining” in this context also refers to extracting of “energy resources” for beneficial uses. The proposed bill then also clearly defines “geothermal fluids” as “energy resources” under the bill.

What makes the proposed bill then very interesting is the fact that it requests the adoption of a “Code of Ethics, Reporting Codes and a Code of Professional and Technical Standards for the practice of the Mining Engineering Profession.”

In his presentation, he then provides a case study on efforts made in the geothermal sector internationally to implement reporting codes, their definition of competent/ qualified persons and other standards developed internationally in the context of geothermal development and reporting.

He also provided some detail on other international activities, such as the Working Group on globally applicable harmonized standards for reporting Geothermal Energy Resources by the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the International Geothermal Association (IGA).

On behalf of the National Geothermal Association of the Philippines, he makes a clear case against including geothermal into this proposed bill on the Mininig Engineering Profession as it would stop essentially all creation or work on reporting codes for the geothermal sector.

His presentation here below.

Proposed Mining Engineering Profession Bill and its Implications to Geothermal Exploration and Development from Fernando S. Penarroyo