DENR hopeful illegal mining in Oro stops-A A +A
Thursday, February 28, 2013
THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) expressed high hopes that Thursday’s signing of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) among government agencies, local government units and environmental group Sulog will yield positive result in putting an end to the unabated illegal mining along Iponan River in Cagayan de Oro.
Ruth Tawantawan, DENR-Northern Mindanao director, said it is time everybody must get involved in saving the environment.
“I have high hopes that with this MOA, Kagay-anons finally come forward in helping and saving the environment,” Tawantawan said.
She said the DENR cannot solve the problem alone, so she requested the help of the civil society and other stakeholders.
Under the MOA, the parties agreed to immediately put a stop to all illegal and destructive mining and other extractive activities within the Iponan Watershed and review compliance to Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) issued by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), including its terms and conditions.
They also agreed to immediately issue cancellation and cease and desist orders in cases of violations.
Orlando Ravanera, Sulog chair and regional director of the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), said the covenant signing is a good start of the partnership of different stakeholders in protecting Mother Earth.
“This time, there is no more excuses of going against illegal miners as every agency is well represented and have understood the MOA,” Ravanera said.
Signatories to the MOA include the MGB, Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), the City Governments of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan, Provincial Government of Misamis Oriental, Department of Interior and Local Government, police and military, National Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Immigration and Sulog.
The signing of the MOA came after a series of raids have been conducted, resulting in the arrest of several Chinese nationals found to be illegally extracting gold minerals and working without necessary legal documents.
Misamis Oriental Governor Oscar Moreno was among those who signed the MOA. (Abigail Chee Kee Malalis)
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 01, 2013.