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Mining board to tap barangay execs, NGOs in anti-illegal mining campaign

CEBU CITY, Aug. 30 – The new Cebu City Mining Regulatory Board (CCMRB) will deputize barangay officials and non-government organizations (NGOs) to monitor illegal mining or quarrying activities in the city.

CCMBR head Rene Mercado said the city wants people who are passionate and dedicated to work for the environment.

In 2009, the city had deputized barangay tanods and officials to help the board in implementing the Cebu City Mining Ordinance after it was approved in 2007.

But Mercado said it has been observed that the deputized agents were not active in protecting the environment.

The former CCMRB chairman and Councilor Augustus Pe Jr. said most of the deputized agents during his time were inactive.

Pe said they can understand the village officials because most of the violators were from mountain barangays.

But even if the deputized agents weren’t active, the CCMRB reported 122 apprehensions since last November until last June 30.

The violations include no permit to operate, no hauling permit, no delivery receipt, failure to carry permit, and no special hauling permit.

Violators were penalized and paid the fines as stated in the ordinance and the confiscated illegally-sourced mineral products were forfeited in favor of the city government.

Mercado said they want to intensify their operation against illegal mining and quarry operations to protect the environment.

Since Mercado assumed as CCMRB head this month, the board recommended at least five site development projects, which they believed were quarry operations, to be stopped.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama approved the recommendation of the board and issued a cease and desist order against the quarry operations.

Mercado said they need the deputized agents so they can intensify their operations against illegal quarrying and illegal extraction of minerals in the city.

”We need to intensify our campaign because these operations have damaged the environment,” Mercado said.

Mercado said they will coordinate with the Association of Barangay Council (ABC) in the campaign.

He asked the Mines and Geo-Sciences Bureau (MGB) 7 to schedule training for the deputation of the barangay officials.

Mercado said those who were once deputized by the City for the same job can still join them but they must be retrained.

Mercado said members of the CCMRB will inspect the possible quarry sites in the city at least once a week. (PNA) LAP/EB/gb

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