A national government agency requires the filing with its regional office, within 72 hours, of a notice of its application for mineral exploration. The applicant complied by sending fax copies of the application to the regional office. A claimant asserting priority opposed on the ground that fax copies are insufficient to prove compliance.
In sustaining the Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court ruled:
“Newmont in fact furnished the MGB-CAR Regional Office with copies of its FTAA applications, through fax transmission, within 72 hours from filing of the FTAA applications. Considering the distance between Quezon City and Baguio City where the MGB-CAR Regional Office is located, and the requirement to furnish the proper Regional Office (some of which are located in Visayas and Mindanao) a copy of the FTAA application within a short period of 72 hours, a fax machine copy is a reasonable and sufficient mode of serving a copy of the FTAA application to the proper Regional Office. We note that Section 8 of DAO 63 does not specify how a copy of the FTAA application should be furnished to the proper Regional Office.
“Newmont clearly satisfied the requirements for the acceptance and evaluation of its FTAA applications with the MGB. Being the first to file its FTAA applications ahead of Diamond Drilling’s MPSA application, and having furnished copies of its FTAA applications to the MGB-CAR Regional Office within 72 hours from filing, Newmont must be given preferential right to utilize the area included in its FTAA applications.”
Diamond Drilling Corporation of the Philippines v. Newmont Philippines, Incorporated, G.R. No. 183576, May 30, 2011