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MGB-CAR OIC REgional Director and PMRB Chairperson Fay W. Apil (center) convened the members of the Benguet Provincial Mining Regulatory Board in a special meeting held on October 18, 2018 at the provincial capitol of Benguet.  Members present include Benguet Governor Cresencio Paclaso to her left and Engr. Lomino Caniteng, to her right.  Also in the photo are members of the Technical Working Group.

October 18, 2018 - The Benguet Provincial Mining Regulatory Board convened in a special meeting today to act upon miners’ petitions as directed by Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy A. Cimatu.

In the special meeting held at the Benguet Provincial Capitol, the board deliberated on the requests of the small scale miners cited in a petition filed with Secretary Cimatu in a dialogue held yesterday at the DENR gym in Pacdal, Baguio City.

On the request to process the ore stockpiles, the members of the board agreed to grant temporary permits for the operation of ball mills and sluicing activities only.

An advisory has been issued for the guidelines in the issuance of special permits to process ore stockpiles. 

Letters of request for temporary permits shall be submitted to the PMRB indicating the name of owner/operator or small scale mining association, the location of stockpiles for milling, the quantity of ores to be milled, rate of milling per day, and estimated number of days to process. 

Said information will be validated by the PMRB’s Technical Working Group (TWG) and special permit will be issued upon recommendation of the TWG.

Milling and sluicing activities will only commence upon issuance of the temporary permits which shall take effect within a limited period and shall be deemed expired after specified date.

The board emphasized that other processing activities aside from milling and sluicing remain strictly prohibited.

The PMRB shall declare a Minahang Bayan area in the province upon the clearance from the DENR secretary’s office.  Applications with no opposition and completed requirements will be endorsed by the board for clearance. 

Gold panning activities will remain banned pending the finalization of guidelines from the board. The PMRB is eyeing the participation of the barangay and other local government units in the management of gold panning areas in their jurisdiction by granting special permits to the barangay.

Benguet PMRB is hopeful that a Minahang Bayan will soon be declared in the province after the pronouncements made by the DENR secretary during his visit here yesterday.