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MGB-7 backs EO 79 on mining

CEBU CITY, July 17 – The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) in Region 7 has expressed support for the executive order (EO) regulating, monitoring and implementing reforms in mining operations in the country.

MGB-7 Director Loreto B. Alburo said this presidential order sets the direction on how mining investors should conduct themselves.

The EO 79 issued last week aims to institutionalize and implement reforms in the mining sector by providing policies and guidelines to ensure environmental protection and responsible mining.

EO 79, or the implementation of reforms in the Philippine Mining Sector, also sets the areas where mining is prohibited.

Areas that are not open to mining, according to EO 79 are: those established under the National Integrated Protected Areas, prime agricultural lands, tourism development areas and critical areas like island ecosystems.

Cebu City also has an ordinance on mining which sets guidelines on the process of getting a mining permit and the fees involved.

According to the local ordinance, permit application for mining of a certain area will be assessed by the Office of the Mayor, which heads the City Mining and Regulatory Board and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Section 13 of the ordinance states, “No extraction, removal and/or disposition of materials shall be allowed within a distance of one kilometer from the boundaries of reservoirs established for public water supply, archeological and historical sites or of any public or private works or structures, unless the prior clearance or the concerned government agency or owner is obtained.”

”No extraction or removal and/or likewise be allowed in offshore areas within five hundred meters from the coast and two hundred meters from the mean low tide level along the beach.”

Both the EO and the local ordinance adhere to environmental protection.

The EO, though, will not be effective until after its publication in newspapers of general circulation. It was signed by the President last July 6.

In Central Visayas, there are nine operating mines and quarries with a total area covered of 10,039.8923 hectares.

Of the nine, six are in Cebu and one each for Negros oriental, Siquijor and Bohol.

Alburo said the important concerns are on promoting responsible mining, providing a more equitable revenue-sharing scheme and coordination among stakeholders including local government units. (PNA) LAP/EB/re

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