ENVIRONMENT Secretary Roy Cimatu has vowed to continue efforts to eradicate illegal mining activities in the country.
“Mayroon kaming hindi sasabihing probinsiya, magkakaroon ulit ng operations diyan to prevent iyong sinasabi natin na illegal mining,” said Cimatu during his visit in Baguio City on October 17.
Cimatu said the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) lacks the manpower to enforce the laws and needs the cooperation of the stakeholders.
The DENR official added the National Task Force Mining Challenge remains in effect together with the support of the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of Philippines.
NTFMC is composed of DENR, Armed Forces and the Philippine National Police tasked to stop the mining operations in Itogon including the personnel of Benguet Electric Cooperative in charge of stoppage of illegal connection of ball mills.
DENR Regional Director Ralph Pablo said on October 16, operations against illegal small-scale mining continue in Kalinga following the stoppage order for the whole Cordillera region on October 1 launched in Itogon, Benguet.
Pablo added in the Province of Abra, Governor Jocelyn Bernos ordered the stoppage of small scale mining operation in the province with an executive order.
On Wednesday, the Provincial Mining Regulatory Board of Benguet was tasked by the Environment Secretary to work on the establishment of minahang bayan.
Under the minahang bayan, Cimatu said they will allow miners to apply for a permit in accordance with the Small-Scale Mining Act 1991.