THE CORDILLERA office of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB-CAR) in coordination with the local government will be sealing the alleged illegal mine tunnels located at Sitio Uabac and other areas of barangay Camp 7 to put a stop on the continuous operation of illegal small-scale mining in the said area.

City Planning and Development Officer Evelyn Cayat informed Mayor Mauricio Domogan based on the recent meeting of the City Mining Regulatory Board (CMRB), MGB-CAR officials agreed to seal the illegal mine tunnels in the area pursuant to the mandate of Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu for the total eradication of illegal mining operations that resulted to the creation of the National Task Force Mining Challenge (NTFMC).

Cayat added personnel of the MGB-CAR and the City Engineering Office (CEO) already conducted an ocular inspection in the site to guide them in the preparation of the required program of work for the proposed sealing of the illegal small-scale mine tunnels that will put a stop on the operation of illegal mining in the area.

The city official confirmed despite the closure order issued by the local government to stop the illegal mining operations in Uabac, Camp 7, the illegal pocket miners continue to proliferate in the place that is why it was recommended by the MGB-CAR personnel that the tunnels will be permanently sealed to prevent the small-scale miners from repeatedly pursuing their illegal operations.

Domogan pointed out the local government should not wait for Cimatu to again come to the city and personally blast the illegal mine tunnels in the place before coming out with a concrete action, thus, the need for concerned offices to be aggressive in stopping illegal mining operations in the city.

Earlier, the local government was able to padlock the illegal mine tunnels in Uabac upon the decision of the CMRB but pocket miners were able to resume their illegal mining activities after a temporary lull in their operation.

Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) city director Senior Superintendent Ramil Saculles reported police operatives were able to arrest a number of individuals allegedly involved in the illegal mining operations in the area and were able to file the appropriate charges against them before the city prosecutor’s office.

Saculles assured local official’s police operatives will continue to monitor the alleged illegal mining operations in the place and effect the arrest of individuals who continue to defy the marching orders of concerned government agencies and the local government against the proliferation of illegal mining operations in the city.

Domogan ordered the personnel of concerned government agencies and the different offices of the local government to sustain the aggressive monitoring of the activities of illegal miners in the area to prevent them from resuming their illegal mining operations that will compel environment officials to consider blasting the place and permanently spot pocket mining operations in the city. (Dexter See)