Anti-illegal mining task force scores pumps, hoses-A A +A
Monday, November 4, 2013
IN its few days of operations, the anti-illegal mining task force headed by the Philippine Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF), Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) and the City Local Environment and Natural Resources Office (Clenro) confiscated 13 water pumps worth P150 thousand and some 100 meters long hoses used in the hydraulic mining in the hinterland barangays in the city.
Edwin Dael, Clenro chief, said there were 11 small water pumps and two big ones that have been confiscated and were turned over to MGB office in the region.
A big pump was confiscated in Barangay Pagalungan on October 22, the team’s first day of operations. The following day, 11 smaller pumps and one big pump were confiscated in Barangay Tumpagon.
“As the team was approaching, the men operating the pumps dispersed. We failed to catch them. We saw them, they saw us too but it was difficult to run after them. They just know the place very well. By the time we reached there, they disappeared,” Dael told Sun*Star Cagayan de Oro.
Dael said the task force had a difficulty on catching the men behind the operations citing that the communication system the miners used is very efficient.
“Their communication system is very efficient, we are finding out the kind of system they are using. They could be using natural signals or may be a more sophisticated VHF apart from the mobile phones,” Dael said.
The team also uses the cellular phones and the VHF radio, but most of the remote areas in those hinterland barangays don’t have mobile phone signals, Dael said.
The logistics of the team is very sufficient, but it has difficulties with the terrain and the need to familiarize it is very vital in order to catch the hydraulic mining operators.
Dael who went with the team realized the need to legislate an ordinance that will create checkpoints to monitor persons or groups who will transport rolls of hoses, drum and diesel in those areas where illegal mining is rampant.
“It is very glaring. They bring drums, hoses and diesel to run the operations. It is very important that the businesses engaged in selling those accessories could be tapped to provide information on the usual people who buy these accessories. It will be a big help and deterrent for these illegal mining activities,” Dael said.
The team will be dispatched again on November 4 after the elections and holiday break. “They had to go down before the elections because it was not a good time to stay there. Medyo ‘init’ sila didto. And this kind of risk is unnecessary,” Dael said.
Dael in a post on Clenro Updates page on Facebook thanked donors of the 16 cycling shorts worn by the Clenro staff during the operations as they proved very useful in preventing rashes that result from rubbing of thighs on long hikes.
Dael is optimistic the hydraulic mining would surely stop once the team stays longer there. Initially, the team is given three months to do 24/7 monitoring.
Lately, back hoes and other heavy equipment have been moved out and transferred to a barangay belonging to Opol town in Misamis Oriental.
P37- M Reforestation
Dael said that the reforestation of the 3,000 hectare of denuded forest in the city will start in November this year. It has an initial funding of P37 million as mandated in the passage of Republic Act 10452 courtesy of 2nd District House Representative Rufus Rodriguez.
Barangay Dansolihon has the last remaining forest in the city.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on November 04, 2013.