THE Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) in Davao Region is still implementing strict monitoring of small-scale illegal miners with local government units (LGUs) in the region.
MGB 11 Regional Director Jasper Alberto told reporters on Thursday, March 7, they issued a few cease-and-desist orders to illegal mining activities so as not to further cause damage to the environment and the public.
Alberto also said that the approach they have been using to address illegal mining in the region should be holistic as one agency could not possibly solve the problem.
“Small-scale miners are regulated by the LGU but we coordinate with them. Gusto naming matulungan ang mga small-scale miners, especially yung nag-i-illegal, mawala. We have to understand that illegal mining is not just an issue of enforcement, it is a social issue,” Alberto said.
“People engage in illegal activities not just because they want to but because they want to earn a living. The approach for this is holistic; it cannot be done alone by one agency,” he added.
Meanwhile, Alberto said that it is one of the mandates of President Rodrigo Duterte and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 11 to ensure responsible mining in Davao region.
He added that the current and active large-scale mining companies in Davao region, namely the Holcim Philippines and the Apex Mining Corporation, have been practicing responsible mining activities and are able to provide social development support to more people.
“Itong mga mining na ito, bago magsimula ng mining, marami silang requirements na sinusunod and they have to really create their full program. Dumadaan sila sa mining project feasibility until ma-approve,” Alberto said.
“Ang ating mga responsible miners ay sumusunod sa letter of the law at they go beyond what is expected of them. In our laws, they are required of environmental protection program kung saan yung mg activities nila, hindi sila nagcre-create ng further hazard sa mga tao,” he said, adding that mining is just as temporary land use which means that miners are required to conduct progressive rehabilitation.