FIRST MINAHANG BAYAN IN ABRA DECLARED
From left to right, ENRO Personnel-Mr. Jeffy A. Celedonio; PENRO Abra-Mr. Marcelo G. Bumidang; Representative of the Governor/Co-Chairperson- Mr. Cris Albolote; ASSMMCI representative- Mrs. Melita B. Viernes; PEMU-Abra-Ms. Joyce Ann Almoite; Chief MMD (MGB-CAR) -Engr. Alfredo Genetiano; Cartographer MMD (MGB-CAR)- Mr. Diosdado R. Fajardo; MGB Embedded Personnel (CENRO Lagangilang) – Engr. Vincent Panarngon; ENRO Personnel- Mr. Villamor Gumanab
(seated) SSM Representative- Mr. Joel Sannadan; Regional Director (MGB-CAR)- Fay W. Apil; Representative of Pura C. Sumangil NGO Representative.
On June 2, 2021, the Provincial Mining and Regulatory Board of Abra (PMRB-Abra) chaired by the Regional Director of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau-Cordillera Administrative Region (MGB-CAR), Fay W. Apil, together with the members of the board met at the COMELEC Building in the Municipality of Bangued, Abra to declare the first Minahang Bayan in Abra.
PMRB-Abra members signed Resolution No. 1 series of 2021 declaring the applied area of Ag-Agit Small Scale Mining and Multipurpose Cooperative, Inc. (ASSMMCI) covering an area of 20 hectares located in Sitio Ag-Agit, Barangay Mapisla, in the Municipality of Licuan-Baay, as Minahang Bayan.
The long-awaited declaration of the Minahang Bayan of ASSMMCI started with their application in October, 2017, where the Area Status and Clearance from the MGB-CAR mentioned that the proposed area of ASSMMCI falls within the (a) MB application of Mr. Alejo S. Domingo, (b) MPSA No. 141-99-CAR of Jabel Corporation, and (c) Agrarian Reform Community (ARC) and posed a challenge to hurdle for the cooperative. However, due to the non-compliance of the other proponents, and after further evaluation of the PMRB Technical Working Group (TWG), the proposed area was deemed feasible for small-scale mining.
After complying with all the requirements and a thorough review, the secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Roy A. Cimatu issued the clearance to declare the proposed area of ASSMMCI a Minahang Bayan on April 22, 2021. Despite this issuance, travel restrictions and community quarantines prevented the PMRB to meet earlier.
ASSMCI was then advised to start securing a Small-Scale Mining Contract in order to proceed with their operations.
By Grail Baldas and Engr. Vincent Panarngon, Science Research Specialists