TUBLAY Councilor William Esteban raised the alarm over gold panning activities, which he said damaged the flood control facility constructed in the municipality.
“I am really quite disturbed about the report the foundations of the flood control being constructed are also being damage. I think the statement here is some are already damage and I think this is being irresponsible if this people are conducting gold panning. They should be warned,” stated the lawmaker during the regular Municipal Council session on Monday, December 17.
Esteban expressed greater value on the cost of the flood control compared to the gold nuggets obtained.
Tublay police earlier received a letter from Tublay Central barangay chair Nicanor Menzi on December 6 informing gold panning activities still exist in their barangay.
A lot owner earlier complained the flood control were caved in due to gold panning.
The local PNP then coordinated with the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO) and proceeded to the area of the alleged ongoing gold panning activities. On site, the team discovered portions of the river excavated, parts of the flood control damaged and several piles of sacks believed to be have gold ores were stacked.
During Monday’s regular Sangguniang Bayan session, chair committee on peace and order Councilor Jose Adnol reported the gold panners were not apprehended but warned by the executive chief and the Tublay Municipal Police Station while confiscating their tools for gold panning.
Tublay Mayor Armando Lauro stated gold panning and small scale mining operations still exists in the municipality but informed operators to comply with environmental laws following the order of Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu.