ECC, mining permits in Oro ordered cancelled-A A +A
Thursday, October 18, 2012
CAGAYAN DE ORO – The new regional director of the Environment department in Northern Mindanao has ordered for the cancellation of all environmental compliance certificates (ECC) and permits issued to different sand and gravel concessionaires in this city.
Ruth Tawantawan, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) regional director for Northern Mindanao, issued the order after discussing the problem in a dialogue with members of environment group Sulog on Wednesday morning regarding the unabated illegal mining activities along Iponan River.
The DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) had earlier issued ECCs to at least 20 sand and gravel concessionaires allowing them to operate along Iponan River.
Tawantawan said there must be a “stoppage” of any mining activities in these areas.
The dialogue came as a result of the 1st People’s Mining Summit held last October 6, which Sulog organized in the hope to seek for answers to the mining issues presented.
During the summit, it was revealed that the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) knew all along about the continued mining activities in Iponan.
Earlier, City Mayor Vicente Emano issued an executive order prohibiting all barges operating along Iponan River that were believed to be doing “dredging.”
Acting on Emano’s order, the MGB later conducted a survey and padlocked the barges.
However, members of Sulog conducted an aerial survey on September 21 and discovered that six barges continued operating in the area.
The barges are reportedly “just a front for gold and mineral extraction,” and not dredging.
Orlando Ravanera, chairman of Sulog who is also the regional director of the Cooperative Development Authority, challenged the DENR officials to enforce the rule of law.
MGB regional director Rex Monsanto said he is determined to act on the orders of the DENR regional director.
Barangay Iponan was one of the areas in Cagayan de Oro that was affected by Tropical Storm Sendong in December 2011.
Tropical Storm Sendong caught thousands of residents living along the Cagayan and Iponan Rivers by surprise when heavy rains caused floodwaters to rise quickly and submerge houses, resulting in massive devastation and casualties.(Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro/Sunnex)
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 18, 2012.