Small-scale miners told to abide by environmental laws

SMALL scale miners should consider their manner of operation and practice that will concur with the policies and programs of the different local government units, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the National Government.

Board member Apolinario Camsol during the 4th Small Scale Mining Day held as part of Benguet Adivay celebration at the Benguet Sports Center said as key players of the mining industry, miners should hold good practices in the industry.

“Many of you have been doing this already. What you only need to do is to continue, to those who have not - just a reminder,” Camsol said of the good practices by small scale miners in the province. “While extracting the ores down under these tunnels, you must also bear the burden, the responsibility of preserving and protecting the trees and mountains that hold and provide the treasures so that no one will be compromised in the future.”

Camsol also addressed a short summary of events, issues, problems, views and analysis which transpired in the last 500 days affecting the small scale mining industry of Benguet.

Upon the assumption of former Department of Natural Resources Secretary Gina Lopes, she immediately ordered stoppage of small scale mining operating outside minahang bayan which, according to Camsol is a death sentence to small scale miners.

Governor Crescencio Pacalso stressed the importance of small scale mining in the province which plays as one of the major livelihood together with the agricultural industry.

“For how many years, we are finding means for the small scale mining industry. Still it seems that we are still always having difficulties because of laws that are difficult to implement,” said the governor.
Pacalso said small scale miners can show to the government that mining in Benguet are model of good practices in the country.

“If we want to expand, integrate, and expand small scale mining, we should oversee the environment of our workplace,” the governor added.

With the pending application of minahang bayan in the province, the provincial board is set to pass a proposed ordinance on small scale mining and quarrying.

Camsol said the long overdue ordinance will be pro-small scale miners and pro-environment.
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