‘No let–up on SSM clo­sure’

Sun.Star Baguio - - Front Page - Lau­ren Alimondo Sun*Star Re­porter

THE STOPPAGE of small-scale min­ing (SSM) ac­tiv­i­ties in the Cordillera Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­gion re­mains in ef­fect, stressed Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Nat­u­ral Re­sources.

In a state­ment, DENR-Cordillera clar­i­fied on Oc­to­ber 9, the Na­tional Task Force Itogon com­posed of DENR, Mines Geo­sciences Bureau, En­vi­ron­ment and Man­age­ment Bureau, Armed Forces of the Philip­pines, Philip­pine Na­tional Po­lice and Benguet Elec­tric Co­op­er­a­tive rec­om­mended the end of the three-day Oper­a­tion Itogon.

“On Oc­to­ber 10, DENR Sec­re­tary Roy

Ci­matu con­curred with the rec­om­men­da­tion of the Task Force to stop Oper­a­tion Itogon. We would like to clar­ify, how­ever that the stoppage or­der on all il­le­gal small-scale min­ing and pro­cess­ing ac­tiv­i­ties re­mains en­forced. More im­por­tantly, the con­clu­sion of the ini­tial oper­a­tions in Itogon does not mean that the stoppage or­der on all il­le­gal SSM and pro­cess­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in the Cordillera has been lifted,” adds DENR.

The en­vi­ron­ment agency stressed pend­ing the dec­la­ra­tion of Mi­na­hang Bayan, il­le­gal SSM ac­tiv­ity to be con­ducted out­side Mi­na­hang Bayan is con­sid­ered il­le­gal.

“All closed and cor­doned adits, ball mills and pro­cess­ing plants will not be uti­lized op­er­ated and min­eral ores in­ven­to­ried and cor­doned off shall not be dis­posed fur­ther pro­cessed un­til such time that the stoppage or­der has been lifted and un­less per­mit­ted by the na­tional gov­ern­ment.”

On Fri­day, Po­lice Re­gional Of­fice- Cordillera (PRO-CPR) Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent Rolanda Nana said the sta­tus of stoppage of il­le­gal SSM oper­a­tions con­tinue.

“In the ab­sence of the ap­proval of the res­o­lu­tion to be given by the Sec­re­tary of DENR we will still im­ple­ment their or­der com­plete stoppage of all small-scale min­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in the Cordillera,” stated Nana on Wed­nes­day at Itogon re­gard­ing the lat- ter dec­la­ra­tion of Cordillera Disas­ter Risk Re­duc­tion and Man­age­ment Coun­cil cre­ation of a res­o­lu­tion to sup­port the small-scale min­ers re­quest ad­dress to the sec­re­tary to pos­si­bly al­low ex­trac­tion of re­main­ing un­pro­cessed ores.

Nana men­tioned dur­ing the or­der to stop all SSM ac­tiv­i­ties four were ar­rested in Itogon trans­port­ing ores with 32 sacks of nava con­fis­cated.

As of Oc­to­ber 10, oper­a­tion Itogon of the Na­tional Task Force Min­ing Chal­lenge in­curred a to­tal of 539 closed adits within two-day oper­a­tion in­clud­ing 335 ball mills cor­doned, 33 kilo­grams cyanide seize, and 64,214 sacks of es­ti­mated min­eral ore ob­tained.

Photo by Jean Ni­cole Cortes

WHEEL IN THE SKY. De­spite a plea from the City Coun­cil urg­ing the man­age­ment of SM and Sky Ranch Amuse­ment Park to con­duct pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion, Mayor Mauri­cio Do­mo­gan be­lieves there is no le­gal ba­sis for such say­ing the prop­erty is pri­vately owned by SM and has devel­op­ment per­mits in or­der.

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