Apil Encourages Small Scale Miners to Apply for Permit
April 4, 2015
The officer in charge (OIC) regional director of Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB-CAR) Fay W. Apil called to the small scale mining associations in the Cordillera Region to acquire their permit for the legality of their operations Monday during the press conference at the MGB conference hall.
Aside from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) through MGB, other sectors such as the Provincial Mining Regulatory Board and City Mining Regulatory Board regulate the small scale miners. These agencies are set to review the applications for small scale mining.
Small scale mining can only be done on areas proclaimed as “Minahang Bayan” (People’s Mining Area) as prescribed under the Executive Order (EO) 79.
Apil said that anybody can apply for the “Minahang Bayan” but a process must be followed, they have to see to it that the areas being applied for are open for mining. These areas should not fall under protected ones such as prime agricultural lands, tourism destination areas, and residential areas. It must also pass the area status and clearance.
The Benguet Provincial Mining and Regulatory Board issued a resolution for the identification of areas that can be applied to be declared as “Minahang Bayan” on 2014. The small scale miners were the primary applicants, they apply over the areas that they are mining.
Apil also declared that in Benguet there are about 60-62 associations and only 11 of which have permits to engage in mining activities. Others are still on the process of perfecting their applications so that the areas they mine will be declared as “Minahang Bayan”.
Small scale miners should have area clearances and should get consent from the land owners or from the large scale mining companies who have applied for the areas first or who have the mining rights over the areas.
The occurrence of the small scale miners became very evident due to the elevation of the price of Gold.
The government recognizes that it is one of the main livelihoods of people in the country side but that does not mean that the concerned agencies will not regulate them.
The MGB- OIC regional director further explained that they have been encouraging those small scale miners to apply for permits and have their areas declared as “Minahang Bayan”. Also, they have been issuing Stoppage Orders and Cease and Desist Orders (CDOs) to those small scale mining activities without permits.
“The sad part here is although we keep on issuing Stoppage Orders and CDOs, we do not have police power, so we need the assistance of the Local Government Unit s and the Philippine National Police to implement those Stoppage Orders” she lamented.
The MGB-CAR is still actively assisting the small scale miners for them to legalize their activities so that they will be closely monitored just like large scale miners./Malani, Jordan