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PIA Press Release

NVizcaya eyes creation of mining regulatory board

by Ben Moses Ebreo

Solano, Nueva Vizcaya (June 9) -- Officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Mines and GeoSciences Bureau (DENR-MGB) yesterday have called on the creation of a mining regulatory board to regulate small scale mining in the province.

The call was made by Mario Ancheta, MGB regional director for Cagayan Valley during the seminar-workshop on small scale mining in the province at the Balai ni Gloria in barangay Osmena here.

"We need a regulatory board to intervene on mining issues and concerns particularly relinquishment areas covered by large scale mining companies," he said.

According to Ancheta mining law, particularly Republic Act No. 7076 requires the creation of he Provincial Mining Regulatory Board(PMRB) where issuance of mining contracts will be done by the provincial governor or city mayor through the PMRB.

Through RA 7076, PMRBs in provincial and city governments can also declare a People's Small-Scale Mining Area (PSSMA) subject to review by the DENR secretary, formation and registration of mining cooperatives of at least 15 members and issuance of small scale mining contracts to these cooperatives.

Ancheta also vowed to immediately work on the creation of the PMRB to address the environmental issues and concerns raised by the members of Alimit Small Scale Mining Association (ASSMA) in barangay Alimit in Kasibu town.

"We will work on this immediately and I can assure you that but we need also your cooperation and support so that we can have a win-win solution for our problems," he said.

Ancheta also added that the area covered by the foreign mining company Oceana Gold Philippines Inc. (OGPI) under their Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) with the national government has been reduced from 37,000 hectares to 15,000 hectares as a result of the required 10 percent relinquishment per year by law.

He also added that the PMRB can work with the existing Provincial Small Scale Mining Regulatory Board(PSSMRB) earlier formed by the provincial government with the PMRB as an umbrella body.

Out of the 15,000 hectares covered by OGPI, more than 975 hectares are allotted for their development and utilization, all located within barangay Didipio in Kasibu town.

Earlier, ASSMA members have sought government help inorder to legalize their operations in barangay Alimit in Kasibu town following the order of governor Luisa Cuaresma to suspend all illegal mining operations in the province last year. (IA NVizcaya) [top]

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