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Cebu News

Caution in granting permits to small scale miners urged

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CEBU, Philippines - The Mines and Geosciences Bureau has reminded local government units to be more cautious in approving small scale mining permits in the light of increasing illegal mining reports, which is reportedly common in small scale mining.

MGB-7 Regional Director Roger de Dios said illegal small scale miners are not just robbing the government of its right to impose taxes but also destroy the environment with their practices prohibited under the small scale mining law.

There is an increasing report of mining operations without permits and most of these illegal operations allegedly use heavy equipment and unsustainable system that damage the area they are operating in, MGB said.

Officials also could not help but compare how small scale differs from large scale mining in terms of its potential to create impact to the economy and the environment.

De dios said MGB has no problem with large scale mining since “they have performed more than what they are required by the law.”

The Minerals Development Council in which De dios serves as vice chairman, said most of large scale companies not just in Cebu but throughout the whole country have tied up with foreign companies so they are conscious of their ways and practices.

Jeremias Dolino, DENR assistant secretary for line bureaus said that with this consciousness, large scale mines always seek to gain international accreditation, which they could only acquire if their operations follow good environmental standards.

MDC Assistant Executive Director Clarence Baguilat also added that large companies are covered by regulations and strictly monitored by a multipartite monitoring team, various line agencies and other monitoring bodies.

Baguilat admitted that MDC and MGB have lost control of small scale miners especially when its monitoring and regulation have been delegated to the LGUs under the MGB devolved functions.

“The rules and regulations of small scale mining laws are hard to implement unless there is a good coordination with the LGUs tasked to implement it,” Baguilat said.

De dios reported that only two LGUs are seemingly serious about performing their duty as implementers of small scale mining law.

Only the province of Bohol and Cebu City have submitted and passed ordinances that support mining laws implementation, including a creation of a separate division in their respective offices for this particular function. — Jessica Ann Pareja/JMO (THE FREEMAN)

ASSISTANT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR CLARENCE BAGUILAT

BAGUILAT

BOHOL AND CEBU CITY

JEREMIAS DOLINO

JESSICA ANN PAREJA

MINERALS DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL

MINES AND GEOSCIENCES BUREAU

MINING

REGIONAL DIRECTOR ROGER

SCALE

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