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89 Safety, best practices, and legislative review on small-scale mining in the Philippines
  1. Sophia Francesca Lu
  1. University of the Philippines Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines


Introduction Small-scale mining (SSM) in the Philippines has contributed 14% of the total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country and has a revenue share of about 19 billion pesos (380M USD).

Objectives: This study aims to document mining occupational safety and health in small-scale mining in the Philippines, as well as to identify best practices among miners and communities for programs on the reduction of toxic chemical use in mining.

Methods The data were based on gray literature, peer-reviewed journals, government statistics, and secondary literature.

Results Small-scale mining (SSM) or artisanal mining (ASM) is categorized as part of the informal sector of the market economy. In the Philippines, the leading types of accident in the mines are being hit by falling objects, suffocation from chemical fumes, and crushing injuries, exposure to intense heat, poor ventilation, vibration, dust, fumes, repetitive stress injury, intense noise, manual handling (e.g. lifting) of heavy machinery, and biological and chemical hazard. Occupational illnesses include skin diseases, emphysema, chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD) and hearing loss. Due to these risks, we have adopted strategies such as mercury-free mining, cyanide reduction, green and climate-smart mining, among others. Developmental directives include enactment of specific small-scale mining laws and regulations, including a separate set of safety rules; and decentralization of the issue and control of small-scale mining permits and licenses through local government units.

Conclusion Policies, legislation and protective measures on small-scale mining in the country warrant more comprehensive coverage, implementation and provision of social safety nets.

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