Bersamin appeals for responsible mining
by Maritess Beņas
Bangued, Abra (25 September) -- "Responsible mining is what I ask from you. Let us not be greedy but be considerate of the condition of the other people in the community as well as Mother Earth itself."
This was the appeal of Governor Eustaquio "Takit" P. Bersamin to the people of Licuan-Baay during their dialogue with the small scale miners and the tribal leaders when they visited the mining sites in Brgy. Capcapo early this month following complaints from people in the Licuan side of the municipality that their farmlands and livestock are getting affected by the mining activities said barangay.
"I want you to have your livelihood also but consider the environmental sanitation aspect of your mining activity so that other people will not have to be sacrificed," the governor emphasized.
On the other hand, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer, Ernesto Aton told the people in Licuan-Baay that there is a marching order from the Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to stop all illegal activities in the area including mining and logging because it is against the national government's campaign to regreen the environment to address the growing threat of climate change particularly global warming and the more frequent occurrences of flash floods.
Aton clarified that he is not personally against both the mining and wood-based industries because'we need to have livelihood for our communities' but he stressed the need to regulate the conduct of these activities. He said miners should be taught how to do mining without sacrificing the agriculture industry in the communities.
Aton further emphasized the need to pay taxes and royalties to the communities where the industry operates because these are provided for in the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act. He also the local officials to implement the "Cease and Desist Order" of the Governor so that the industry could be regulated.
Licuan-Baay Mayor Onofre Millare said that he had already established check points for the implementation of the forestry laws in their municipality.
The Governor further promised to go back to their community and personally bring with him soil experts who will check on their soil if indeed it is affected by the mining activities as claimed by some villagers. (PIA-Abra) [top]