The Philippines is known as one of the world’s top mineral resource-endowed countries. It is therefore not surprising that the Philippine Constitution itself sets the tone for all economic activities in connection with the exploration, development, and utilization of natural resources. However, due to abuses of several mining companies, and the perceived systematic alienation of vulnerable sectors of the economy especially indigenous cultural communities, the Philippine regulatory framework for mining has now become more complex. Beyond the Constitution and the Mining Act of 1995, investors/stakeholders now need to deal with additional requirements under the Indigenous People's Rights Act, the Philippine Competition Act, and the constantly evolving environmental legal framework further made vibrant by the growing assertiveness of Local Government Units through ordinances.
Atty. Sarmiento and his team have a deep understanding of the complex regulatory framework that applies to mining and have guided some of the largest mining companies in the world in their investments in the Philippines. Guided by his vision of transformative mining and his experience in the mining industry, Atty. Sarmiento, goes beyond the delivery of excellent advisory work on mining laws and regulations, but can guide clients on how to proactively address social, political, or economic issues that may be raised by concerned stakeholders, and suggest ways to avoid these issues.
The Firm is highly selective in its acceptance of engagements and has a strong bias in favor of those socially-minded investors in mining who share its vision of transformative mining. The Firm's mining lawyers are deeply committed to serving the "Quadruple Bottom-line" of Profit, People, Planet and Providence ("4 Ps"). The harnessing of mineral resources must work towards the promotion of human dignity, respect for nature, and the transformational development of mining's direct and indirect stakeholders, particularly of affected indigenous cultural communities who regard their ancestral lands as sacred.