Small-scale miners lack representation in the provincial mining board


Pocket miners in Benguet appealed anew to Congress to amend some provisions of the Republic Act (RA) 7065 otherwise known as “People’s Small-Scale Mining Act of 1991″ by streamlining the application of Minahang Bayan (MB). At the same time, they are asking the environment department to appoint the person capable of representing their group in Provincial Mining Regulatory Board (PMRB).

Its almost two years now local small-scale miners are not represented in said regulatory body. They also support the move by some members of the House of Representatives to incentivize small-scale mining and extend social assistance, labor protection—hasten health and safety, and strengthen government assistance. These developed after a random interviews conducted to some officers and members of various local small-scale mining associations regarding the status of their MB

Currently there are 13 approved MB in the whole region, according to Mines and Geosciences
Bureau (MGB)-Cordillera. An estimated 25k pocket miners are operating in different areas in Benguet province- majority of them are organized into associations and are affiliated with Benguet Federation of Small-Scale Miners, Inc. (BFSSMI). Actually, the clamor to amend the people’s scale mining came also came during last’s year’s summit of the National Coalition of SmallScale Miners in the Philippines, held in the Summer Capital.

This alliance of small-scale mining associations nationwide aimed to uplift the lives of small-scale
miners through responsible mining and the formalization of the said sector. As of press time, several SSM groups are conducting clean-up drives in their respective communities and repairing path walks.

Primo Agatep/ ABN

Amianan Balita Ngayon