Issue of June 10, 2018
Mt. Province

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Crackdown on illegal mining in Mountain Province begins
by PNA release

A crackdown on illegal mining operations has begun in Mountain Province, following President Rodrigo Duterte’s order against such activities nationwide.

In a report, Mountain Province Police Director S/Supt. Allen Ocden said one small-scale mining operation in Sitio Latang, Maligcong, Bontoc has been closed down on orders of the Regional Trial Court in Bontoc.

Ocden said the Mines and Geo-Sciences Bureau and the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro) took part in shutting down the small-scale mine’s operation.

The troops saw on site some freshly sawn pine to be used as timber in the tunnel, he said, adding that mine ore that contaminates the creek was also spotted.

Aside from Maligcong, other villages and towns in the province are also being monitored daily by the police for illegal mining operations.

“We have closed the illegal mining operation in Maligcong and there will be more to follow,” Ocden said. “The instruction of the President to the police is to enforce (the) anti-illegal mining law in our respective areas, which we are complying with.”

The police officer said some illegal small mining operations are being monitored in the villages of Mainit and Alab in Bontoc and in Fidelisan in Sagada.

“During our inspection, we found out that Maligcong was the only one that insists on continuing its illegal small-scale mining. That’s why we closed it down together with MGB and Cenro,” he said, adding the mining operator in Fidelisan agreed to shut down voluntarily.

Tadian Mayor Anthony Wooden, who also heads the League of Mayors in Mountain Province, urged all small mine operators to apply for a permit to legalize their operations.

The mayor said the crackdown would not affect the people’s livelihood, since mining is not the primary source of income of the town.

Wooden said no mining permit has ever been issued in Mountain Province.

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