Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Oscar Magallones called on indigenous peoples in Negros Oriental Tuesday to practice responsible mining to prevent the destruction of the environment.
In a forum held in line with the ongoing National Indigenous People's Month celebration at the Negros Oriental Convention Center, Magallones said the Mines and Geosciences Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources has laid out measures to reduce the impact of mining activities on the environment.
Renante Cabanag of the indigenous tribes in Negros Oriental said about 80 percent of the IP communities favored mining, and 20 percent are opposed to it.
Aside from Cabanag, more than 100 chieftains from the Ata Negritos Tribe and the Bukidnon-Mangahat Tribe attended the forum that focused on New Mining Executive Order No. 79.
Magallones said permits for small-scale mining allow for 20 hectares for metallic minerals and five hectares for non-metallic natural resources. The permit is valid for two years and renewable once, with the provincial governor having the authority to issue or deny the permit based on the recommendation of the Provincial Mining Regulatory Board, he added.
As for abandoned mining areas, the permit application will pass through the competitive public bidding, Magallones said, citing Basay town in southern Negros Oriental that hosted the CDCP Mining Corporation.
He said a proposal must be submitted to the MGB that will evaluate the best offer before the permit is issued.*JFP
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