February 6, 2023

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau-Cordillera of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources is fast-tracking the application of small-scale miners in the region for a minahang bayan.
MGB-CAR Mine Management Division Chief Alfredo Genetiano said because of this the Cordillera has 11 declared minahang bayan, the highest number among the regions.
Genetiano said the earlier petitions of the small-scale miners backed by local government units to lift the stoppage of small-scale mining in the region were heard by DENR Sec. Roy Cimatu.
In 2018, Cimatu has declared the suspension of small-scale mining in the region following the fatal landslide in Itogon, Benguet.
Cimatu has mandated the DENR instead to help the miners fast-track the processing of their application for minahang bayan.
“Our efforts are the continuing streamlining of the procedures and requirements for minahang bayan,” Genetiano said. 
He said the 51 applicants in 2021 were reduced to 42 while the MGB central office had already reviewed most of the minahang bayan applications.
MGB-Cordillera records show there are four minahang bayan in Benguet approved by the agency.
These are the site for LIPMA covering 64 hectares declared on Jan. 15, 2019; the Goldstar site in Bagtangan, Gambang, Bakun covering 287 hectares declared on June 19, 2019; the Benguet Federation of Small-Scale Miners’ Association Inc. site covering 31.25 hectares at Sitio Camp 6, Camp 4, Tuba declared on May 6, 2021; and the site by Federation of Taneg Indigenous Communities Livelihood Association (FTICLA) with an area of 96.25 hectares at Barangay Taneg, Mankayan declared on Oct. 22, 2021.
There are three minahang bayan in Apayao with two located in Conner. These are the one managed by Olivia Catral with 20 hectares declared on Feb. 4, 2020 and one by Manuel Canipas with 2.1 hectares declared on March 15, 202. The other site with 20 hectares is in Calanasan by the Bulawan Land Owners Small Scale Mining Association declared on June 30, 2021.
In Sagada, Mountain Province, the minahang bayan was applied by the Northern Sagada Barangay Small-Scale Miners Association Inc. covering 10 hectares in Fidelisan and was declared on Nov. 17, 2020.
Abra has one minahang bayan by the Ag-Agit Small Scale Mining and Multipurpose Cooperative, Inc. with an area of 20 hectares at Barangay Mapisla, Licuan-Baay declared on June 2, 2021.
The latest declared minahang bayan by the Guina-ang Tribe Indigenous People Cultural Community in Kalinga covers an area of 700 hectares. – Ofelia C. Empian