Officials urged to monitor environmental compliance-A A +A
Monday, April 25, 2011
THE Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) in Davao Region has urged officials to monitor compliance of environmental laws to avoid disasters similar to what happened in Pantukan, Compostela Valley last Friday.
Liza Mazo, OCD-Davao Region chief, told reporters that similar incidents could have been avoided had the local government and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) been keen in monitoring small-scale mining operations.
Mazo said the OCD is only there to provide assistance in incidents that have already occurred.
Leo Jasareno, Mines and Geosciences Bureau chief, said is the right time for the government to rationalize the mining industry in the country.
"Mining is a social issue, it involves issues in the society that the government must take seriously," Jasareno said.
For one, he said, there are two mining laws being implemented simultaneously.
He said that a small-scale mining operator can only be given a permit to operate if he complies with either two laws, the Republic Act (RA) 7076 or the small-scale mining act and the Presidential Decree (PD) 1889, the law that establishes small-scale mining as a new dimension in mineral development.
In RA 7076, the miners are required to have a communal mining sites where they are not allowed to have a habitation while in PD 1899, the same requirement is not a must and even if the mining operator seeking for permit has no communal mining sites, which Jasareno said is an important part of a mining area, still, they may be allowed to operate.
Because of this, residences of the miners are right where they are mining.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on April 26, 2011.