Mining firms appeal denial of permit before MGB Manila-A A +A
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
THE Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB)-Davao Region on Monday said some 60 to 68 mining companies in the region whose permit applications were earlier denied have filed an appeal before the MGB-Central Office in Manila.
Atty. Wilfredo Montaño, MGB regional chief of the mines division, speaking in Monday’s Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City, said these firms were not able to comply with the requirement to operate mining activities.
Montaño said only 35 mining applications have been approved by the bureau to operate in Davao Region, but only two of which are able to mine minerals as others are still on the exploration stages.
The two mining companied are Apex Mining Inc. and Holcim Philippines. There is another ongoing mining operation in Compostela Valley but is not under MGB –Davao Region.
Last year, a total of 131 mining applications were denied by MGB-Davao Region.
Montaño said the 35 mining operations approved are mostly found in Davao Oriental with a total of 18, followed by Compostela Valley with 11 and Davao del Norte with six.
Meanwhile, the official reiterated that big mining firms have strictly complied with the bureau's regulations and that mining-related casualties can mostly be attributed to small-scale miners.
"Nahitabo lang nga naga-operate ang small scale miners within the area of large-scale miners (It just happened that these small scale miners are operating within the area of large-scale miners)," Montaño said.
Robert Dela Fuente, chief legal officer of MGB-Central Office, said one of the measures stated in the executive order of President Benigno Aquino III on mining is to set aside a "Minahang Bayan" in every province wherein small scale miners are allowed to operate in one mining zone.
There are three approved "Minahang Bayan" in the region, including Pantukan and Maragusan.
Executive secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. earlier said the proposed executive order on mining would review the existing mining policies and harmonize the conflicting interests of the mining interest, local and national governments and environmental advocates.
The executive order is yet to be approved by Aquino.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 03, 2012.