NAGA CITY: CamNorte 2nd District Congressman Renato “Jojo” Unico urged the Bicol Recovery, Economic and Development (BRED) Committee in Congress chaired by CamSur 5th District Congressman Salvio Fortuno to act on the persistent illegal mining activities in CamNorte province and the impact of open pit mining in Rapu-Rapu, Albay.
Unico said that the despite the closure orders issued by the DENR-MGB on illegal open-pit mining operations in CamNorte, the environmental abuse by foreign mining firms given permits by the Provincial government has continued unabated in the mining towns of Jose Panganiban, Labo and Paracale.
The Congressman also cited the rampant use of explosives in small-scale mining that has claimed the lives of about 30 mine workers as he had earlier exposed in a statement to Congress.
Unico urged that the committee to conduct an inquiry on the illegal mining practices in the three mining towns of his province and pass immediate measures to provide alternative livelihood for displaced miners and sue those responsible for the environmental abuses in the province.
Albay Congressman Al Francis Bichara has supported Unico’s request to the committee, which was favorably approved by “BRED” committee chairman Congressman Fortuno.
Bichara was also proposing to probe the mining abuses in Rapu-Rapu, Albay.
The “BRED” committee meets in Congress every month. – Vox Bicol