Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo has ordered an investigation into the alleged involvement of local officials in illegal mining, and the cutting of trees in the province.
This was after the farmers’ group Kaugmaon, told the governor Thursday that there were local officials who were issued permits to cut trees in Barangay Balugo, Guihulngan City.
Degamo also directed the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office I in Ayungon town to verify alleged mining activities involving local officials. Phosphate mining is reportedly being conducted in Barangay Imelda, also in Guihulngan.
He said his office can only issue permits for small scale mining and quarrying, but this was suspended after tropical storm “Sendong” hit Negros Oriental.
He encouraged the farmers to report any abuses committed against the environment and asked them to do away with the slash-and-burn practice, especially in forested zones.*jfp/Juancho Gallarde
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