Probe on Uabac illegal mining ordered

BAGUIO CITY  – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan ordered the concerned government and law enforcement agencies to conduct an investigation on the alleged resumption of illegal small-scale mining operations in sitio Uabac, Camp 7 in response to numerous complaints from concerned residents in the area on the serious negative impact of the underground activities to the stability of the place.

The local chief executive ordered the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) and the City Public Order and Safety Division (POSD) in coordination with the Cordillera office of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB-CAR) to look into the alleged resumption of the illegal small-scale mining operations in the area and subsequently facilitate the closure of the pocket mining tunnels that were again re-opened by the unscrupulous small-scale mining operators.

“We want to sustain the city’s policy against illegal mining activities in the city considering that the local government never approved the conduct of pocket mining activities in any part of the city. We want to be consistent on our stand against illegal mining in the city to ensure the preservation and protection of the city’s state of environment beneficial to the present and future generations of residents,” Domogan stressed.

Earlier, the local government worked out the closure of the illegal mining tunnels in sitio Uabac, Camp 7 following the recommendations of an inter-agency team that conducted an ocular inspection in the place and found the rampant operation of illegal small-scale mining activities in the place amidst the city’s policy against the operation of illegal mining.

According to him, the pocket miners allegedly enter their assigned portals during the night when there are no local government personnel monitoring their activities, thus, the need for the inter-agency team to make adjustments in the conduct of their monitoring activities for them to be able to chance upon the presence of the illegal small-scale miners for them to effect their arrest and subsequently charged them before the local courts.

He asserted the local government’s policy against mining that is why he expressed support to the unrelenting and uncompromising campaign of the environment department against the proliferation of illegal mining in the different parts of the country.

Domogan was also grateful to Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu for starting the campaign against illegal mining in the city by launching the operation of the National Task Force Mining Challenge (NTFMC) in the city which is in consonance with the city’s no mining policy, thus, the need for the concerned government and law enforcement agencies to work double time to prevent the proliferation of illegal mining operations in the mineral-rich areas around the city.

The City Mining Regulatory Board (CRMB) never acted on requests for small-scale mining permits because the local government is firm on its no mining policy to effectively and efficiently address issues on the preservation and the protection of the environment.

The Uabac section has been identified as one of the areas where illegal small-scale mining activities exist despite being situated near the BCPO Station No. 8 along Kennon road, thus, the need for more vigilance among representatives of the concerned government and law enforcement agencies in the strict implementation of the city’s anti-mining policy.

By Dexter A. See



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