ITOGON, Benguet – The Provincial Mining Regulatory Board (PMRB) did not yet issue the required special permit to pocket miners to process their stockpiled mine ore because there are still issues and concerns that have yet to be ironed out with the concerned stakeholders.
PMRB chairperson and Cordillera Office of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB-CAR) regional director Engr. Fay W. Apil said that some 20 individuals and small-scale mining associations were already able to file their separate requests for the issuance of special permits for them to process their stockpiled mine ore but the said requests will still be subject to evaluation and assessment.
“We will be meeting with the affected pocket miners next week to discuss with them the rules and regulations that will be implemented when the special permits will be issued to them for the temporary processing of their stockpiled mine ore,” Director Apil stressed.
The MGB-CAR official pointed out that for those who have stockpiled mine ore inside their working areas, the concerned pocket miners will be given a chance to haul the mine ore but they will not be allowed to do small-scale mining activities considering that there will be personnel who will be deployed by the PMRB to monitor their activities which is limited to the hauling of their stockpiled mine ore inside their admits that they were not able to process prior to the issuance of the stoppage of all small-scale mining activities in the different parts of the Cordillera after the onslaught of Tropical Cyclone Ompong.
Earlier, the PMRB granted the request of thousands of small-scale miners for them to process their stockpiled mine ore so that they will be able to have available resources to temporarily sustain their living condition while awaiting the skills training that will be provided them by concerned government agencies for them to have sustainable sources of income to uplift the condition of their families.
According to her, the request for the issuance of special permit for the processing of mine ore through ball mill and sluicing should include the name of the applicant, individual or association, the address of the mine working area, estimated volume of stockpiled mine ore, estimated number of days to process the mine ore, among other pertinent details purposely for monitoring by the concerned government agencies and the local government.
Apil appealed to the affected pocket miners to strictly comply with the prescribed rules and regulations for the allowed processing of their stockpiled mine ore so that the government will be able to see their sincerity in adhering to the rules that could contribute in bolstering their plea for the lifting of the order of Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu for the total stoppage of pocket mining activities in the different parts of the region.
She claimed that the 5-day grace period for pocket miners to file their request for special permit already lapsed that is why the next move of the PMRB is for the conduct of the appropriate inventory of the stockpiled mine ore in consultations with the concerned miners prior to the issuance of the said permit that will be under strict supervision by the PMRB in compliance to the marching orders of Secretary Cimatu.