JOINT Personnel of “Oplan Minas” were able to close at least 17 adits in sitios Texas and Mexico in Tuba, Benguet.
Tuba Municipal Police Station with Mines and Geosciences Bureau-Cordillera (MGB–CAR) and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on April 30 closed 11 active and six inactive adits while dismantling a ball mill in the area.
Police Major James Acod, Tuba Municipal police Station chief, said joint personnel of Tuba police, MGD and DENR implemented the operation in lieu of the Writ of Kalikasan and Permanent Environment Protection Order of Mt. Santo Tomas Forest Reserve issued by the Court of Appeals.
“Illegal small-scale mining activity is prohibited in the area. The operation ended with no person and paraphernalia confiscated,” Acod said.
Acod added authorities were informed of the illegal mining activities in the area and validated the report as early as March.
Just recently, small-scale miners represented by Loacan Itogon Pocket Miners Association and the Philippine Government represented by MGB–CAR inked the first small–scale mining contract in Itogon, Benguet.
In order to legally mine, LIPMA has to obtain an Environment Compliance Certificate (ECC) to the Environment Management Bureau (EMB) and work on the mineral processing permit to be obtained from the Provincial Mining Regulatory Board of Benguet.
The minahang bayan covers 64.6 hectares but only 15 hectares will be utilized for the mining and centralized processing area.