LA TRINIDAD, Benguet- Caring and protecting the environment will top the agenda in the forthcoming small-scale mining summit, one of the highlights of this year Adivay- 122nd Founding Anniversary celebration of the province. Norberto Cobaldes , president of the Benguet Federation of Small-Scale Miners (BFSSM) Inc., said hundreds of local pocket miners will participate in the one-day summit which will also focus on the indigenous mining activities. This developed after the province has recently enacted
a Revised Local Environment Code -Provincial Ordinance No.2022-303.

In Section 15.4 of the measure- Protection of Surface Resources states : “ All mining activities and other
developmental programs/ projects shall required to pass a periodic environment clearance from the local
government for the purpose of ensuring that surface resources and those activities dependent on them, such as farming will not in any way be affected adversely by mining operations. Furthermore the local law
on Mineral Resources Management (Art. VII) …Small Scale Mining Contract within declared Minahang Bayan shall be issued by the Provincial Mining Regulatory Board (PMRB).

Moreover, other special and temporary permits and/or contract for Indigenous Peoples Mining operations including gold panning permit shall be issued by Provincial Governor. The Code also gives credence to Section 23 of Republic Act (RA) 7076 otherwise known as People’s Small-Scale Mining Act of 1991 which states that :” small scale miners who have been in actual operation of mineral lands on or before August 1,1987 as could be determined by the PMRB shall not dispossessed or removed from said areas, provided they comply with the Act.”

According to Regional Director Fay Apil of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau- Cordillera, to date there are 13 minahang bayan approved region wide that include four in Benguet.

Primo Agatep/ABN

Amianan Balita Ngayon