Composite team closing a mine adit and installing stoppage signage
Composite team conducting IEC on Mining-RElated Laws to the SSM community of Bgy. Dumagas, Boliney, Abra
On September 17, 2018, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy. A. Cimatu ordered the closure of all small-scale mining activities in the whole Cordillera Administrative Region. The Secretary’s order was prompted by the unfortunate landslide in Ucab, Itogon, Benguet brought about by Typhoon Ompong. In support to the Secretary’s Order, Hon. Jocelyn V. Bernos, governor of Abra, signed Executive Order (EO) No. 11, Series of 2018 ordering the stoppage of small scale mining and all-mining related activities in the Province of Abra.
To ensure the implementation of both orders, an inter-agency meeting and action planning headed by the Provincial Government of Abra was convened by the governor. This was attended by DENR-Abra, Philippine National Police(PNP), and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on October 01, 2018. Since, there is no approved Minahang Bayan in the Province of Abra, all small scale mining activities in the province are considered illegal pursuant to Republic Act No. 7076, otherwise known as the People’s Small Mining Act of 1991.
The composite team from DENR-Abra and PGA-ENRO which included uniformed personnel from PNP (Provincial Police Office, MPOs on their respective area of responsibility (AOR), and Special Action Force), and from Philippine Army/Armed Forces of the Philippines, conducted field operations to stop illegal small-scale mining operations from October 03 to 10, 2018 in the municipalities of Manabo, Boliney, Sallapadan, Daguioman, Lacub, Baay-Licuan, and Malibcong. During these field operations, the closure and stoppage of small-scale mining operations in the area were explained and IEC on Mining Laws were conducted to concerned municipal and barangay officials, small scale miners, and other stakeholders.
The team visited the mine workings and installed tarpaulins and signages indicating the closure of the mine sites. A total of seven (7) mine sites were closed during the said operation.
By: Richard Palma and Vincent Panarngon,
Science Research Specialists II, Abra