By MAR S ARGUELLES
LEGAZPI CITY: Small scale mining operators and financiers in Barangay Palanas in Paracale town in CamNorte have agreed to voluntarily dismantle their mining shafts following a closure order issued by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (MGB-DENR) in Bicol.
Engr Rommel Pestaño, MGB Bicol regional technical director in an interview on Tuesday said that positive results were arrived at with mining operators and financiers in connection with the full implementation of the closure order on illegal small mining operation in the mining towns of Paracale, Labo, and Jose Panganiban in CamNorte.
Pestaño said there are at least seven illegal mining shafts that are subject to demolition in Sitio Bulaay, Barangay Palanas in Paracale town.
He said that during the meeting last Monday at the Paracale town hall, operators, financiers, and other stakeholders have not shown any harsh resistance concerning the agency’s closure order against illegal small mining in their area.
The mining operators offered instead to voluntarily dismantle their mining shafts, he said.
Pestaño said the operators were given a maximum of three days to voluntarily dismantle their mining shafts in Barangay Palanas.
MGB has closely coordinated with Police Supt Jose Capinpin PNP provincial director in Cam Norte to carry out the demolition work in case the mining operators fail to comply with the agreement.
Pestaño said the renewed drive to completely close all illegal mining operations has started and the campaign will also be implemented in the towns of Labo and Jose Panganiban where there also exist illegal mining operations.
The closure order came after a mining pit tunnel collapsed due to the use of explosives where three miners were buried alive in Sitio Bulaay, Barangay Palanas, Paracale town.
The Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Oficer (PENRO) in Camarines Norte said that no mining permit was issued to Augusto Jordan the financier of the small scale mining operation that collapsed.
DENR said that small scale mining operation in coastal villages in Paracale were suspended following the No Mining Order issued by the late Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo to concerned local government units in that area.
There was an existing order to close down all small scale mining operation in the said coastal areas, Pestaño said. – Bicol Mail