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PIA Press Release

MGB airs concern on violations by small-scale miners in NorMin

by Rutchie Cabahug-Aguhob

Cagayan de Oro City (13 August) -- The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) has expressed concern over the "very rampant violations" of small-scale mining operations in Northern Mindanao that have already gone large scale.

Regional Technical Director Juanito A. Manzano, Jr. of MGB-10 has also expressed alarm over the use of dynamite blasting and heavy equipment that has proliferated in small-scale mining operations of the region.

Manzano aired these concerns at the first regular meeting of the Regional Minerals Development Council (RMDC) held in Misamis Occidental, recently.

Thus, he asked the Philippine National Police to look into the presence of heavily armed guards carrying AK 47 riffles in a small-scale mining operation in Misamis Oriental which has sown terror in the tribal community and provided security escorts to illegally transported chromite.

Meanwhile, Manzano informed the RMDC of the new format on the issuance of the Ore Transport Permits (OTP) which should take about three (3) days for MGB to process including the conduct of field investigation.

He said MGB now uses stickers to identify that such conveyance of ore is recorded, qualified and noted for transporting mineral commodity at the time of application and clarified that MGB issues OTP from the stockyard for shipment, while the local government unit issues the OTP only from the mine site to the stockyard.

The RMDC-10 was formed in the region following the creation of the National MDC to address the interrelated concerns affecting the country's minerals industry.

Primarily tasked to advance the government's policy of responsible and sustainable development of the state's mineral resources, the MDC answers the need to mobilize the entire government bureaucracy to support, enhance and strengthen the operations and programs relative to minerals development.

As such, it will involve various stakeholders in revitalizing the industry by attracting new investments, generating revenues for the government and providing additional jobs and livelihood opportunities.

Among others, the MDC shall exercise the following powers and functions:

Enlist the assistance of any branch or department of the government to implement programs relative to minerals development to harmonize investment-related requirements and procedures and facilitate and expedite investments in the mineral sector.

Moreover, RMDC-10 has passed a resolution to support the intention of the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) in the harmonization of the Local Government Code and the small-scale mining laws to clearly define functions, enforcement power and authority of LGU's relative to illegal small-scale activities. (PIA 10) [top]

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