PASIL, Kalinga, July 18 (PIA) – – An investigating team found no foreigners engaged in illegal mining activities and buying of mineral waste in Batong Buhay, Balatoc this town as alleged.
The investigation report of the team on the alleged illegal mining activities of foreigners in said area found it otherwise.
The probe was undertaken last month by a joint team from the Technical Working Group of the Provincial Mining Regulatory Board (PMRB) for Kalinga province, Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), Enforcement Division of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-CAR) and PENRO-Kalinga.
The probe was in response to the letter of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Luzon of Bulanao, Tabuk City requesting DENR to cause the stoppage of alleged illegal mining activities of foreigners in Batong Buhay.
The alleged presence of foreigners in the mining area became viral on social media which netizens claim as an incursion to national patrimony.
The investigation report of the team indicated that no foreigners were observed illegally mining in the area. Ground ore, concentrate, ball mill, and flotation cells were noted but no active small scale mining operations and mineral processing during the inspection, and no hazardous chemicals were observed on the vicinity of the processing plant.
As per MGB-CAR records, there are no small scale mining permit/contract issued at Batong Buhay.
The team recommended in their findings for more information, education campaign (IEC) especially on hazards posed by improper small scale mining practices and its effects to miners themselves and the residents, and to conduct geohazard assessment on small scale mining areas.
Meanwhile, the investigating team conducted IEC on small scale mining laws, ordinances including new policies and guidelines being implemented by the PMRB.
Also disseminated is the issuance of stoppage order to small scale mining operators without proper permit. The stoppage order was duly received by Barangay Captain of Balatoc Gilbert Bugawit, the report said.
Locals expressed their willingness to legalize their mining activities so the team advised them to apply for a Minahang Bayan and offered them their technical support. They were also advised by the team to organize themselves first into a cooperative as it is faster to obtain permit. (JDP/PAB-PIA CAR, Kalinga)
Source: PIA Feed