Abra On Alert Versus Destructive Mining

Feb 9, 2019

BANGUED, ABRA – Abra is on alert versus destructive mining and
other extractive-industry practices that harm the environment.
Abra Governor Ma. Jocelyn Bernos is working out to regulate the utilization of quarry resources of Abra through regulation like issuance of permits and imposing laws and regulations for environmental protection through the Provincial Mining Regulatory Board (PMRB).
Sand and gravel operators are operating in Peñarrubia, Tayum, Pidigan, La Paz, Lagangilang, Bangued, Manabo, Dolores, Bucay and San Juan.
Abra Environment and Natural Resources (ENR)
Officer Cris Albolote reminded the different operators of mining activities that under R.A. 7942 (Phil. Mining Act of 1995) Chapter VIII, quarrying applications should be filed with the Provincial Mining and Regulatory Board (PMRB) and the Provincial Governor shall grant the permit after complying with all the requirements.
Albolote said the PMRB can only approve applications up to five hectares quarry area per town to preserve and protect the environment especially the Abra River.
PMRB is composed of the Mines and Geo Science Bureau Regional Director as Chairman, the Provincial Governor as Co- Chairman.
The members are representatives from the small scale and large-scale miners and a representative from a non-government organization.
The technical working group of PMRB is composed of the ENR, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and other
government agencies like the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Army who will conduct monitoring.
Penalties range from P2,000 to P5,000 and six months of imprisonment while revenue generated from the tax are distributed as follows: 30% to the province, 30% to the municipality, and 40% to the baranga y
There are five quarry applications being processed in Bangued, Tayum, La Paz, Manabo, and Bucay.
Earlier, Bernos issued Executive Order no. 2, series of 2016, and Executive Order no. 11 series of 2018 to stop all illegal mining operations and to regulate small mining activities in the entire province.
She also ordered the inventory of all small-scale miners and set registration and accreditation of the small-scale miners as small-scale miners were told to comply with the provisions of the law for the protection of the ecology and environment.
Small-scale mining activities are rampant in Licuan-Baay (Capcapo and Patok), Lacub (Magtalalang), Malibcong (Kotop), and on the boundary of Manabo and Boliney (Ableg).
Small-scale mining activities are reportedly not yet regulated in Abra prompting reports of using dynamites and chemicals to process the gold threatening the natural environment, especially in Mt. Capcapo, Licuan-Baay.
The DENR said, through Minahang Bayan or People’s Small-Scale mining program, all small-scale mining operators need to comply with the laws and regulations imposed by the PMRB. Its features are: identification, segregation and reservation of certain mineral lands as people’s small-scale mining areas, recognition of cultural rights and productivity, encouragement of the formation of cooperatives, the extension of technical, financial, marketing assistance from the government, and collection of government revenue.
There are seven small-scale mining applications being processed in Mapisla, Capcapo, Nalbuan, Baay-Licuan; Dumagas, Boliney; and San Ramon East, Manabo.

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