Mines Bureau clears issues on mining industry

LAOAG CITY, May 15 (PIA) — The Mines and Geosciences Bureau in Region 1 said that despite the public’s negative perception on the industry, mining activities continue to provide revenues that government needs. 

“Yes, we are aware of the danger that the mining industry could give but we are also aware of the good benefits it can provide,” said Engr. Roel Collado, chief of the MGB’s – Mine Management Division in a forum last Thursday. 

Collado said the government stands to benefit from additional royalty fees that mining companies will pay when they conduct operations in mining reservation sites. 

The government is currently conducting public consultations on the establishment of mining reservations around the country including Ilocos Norte. 

Once an area is declared a reservation, a mining company is required to pay at least 5 percent in royalty fees to government if it conducts mining extraction in a reservation site. 

During the forum, the MGB also clarified various issues about proposed mining explorations that are now pending in its office. 

Collado also took note of a study that massive flooding may happen in Laoag, similar to what occurred in Cagayan de Oro (CDO) City, because of Laoag’s low-lying terrain and presence of mining activities. 

MGB resident geologist Efren Penaflor said that the CDO experience could happen in Laoag but noted that the geo-hazard mapping of the MGB could give early warning to the public as to what they could do before disaster takes place. 

Other issues that were tackled in the forum include the proper issuance of mining permit for mining exploration. 

“We are closely monitoring the required documents. We scrutinize all their clearances from the lowest level up to the governor’s office. If there is no permit, there is no mining,” said Collado. 

They also made sure that the indigenous communities where mining will be conducted will be properly informed to prevent any displacement of communities. 

The forum was also meant to promote responsible mining which is the main thrusts of the bureau, for the protection and rehabilitation of the government, promotion of social stability, and to promote future generations. (ANL/CJD-PIA 1, Ilocos Norte) 

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