February 27, 2024

ITOGON, Benguet – Mayor Victorio T. Palangdan urged the Provincial Mining Regulatory Board (PRMB) to look for remedial measures to allow the small-scale mining industry to bring back the source of livelihood of the displaced pocket miners in mineral-rich areas in the province.
Palangdan said for over three years now since Environment Sec. Roy Cimatu ordered the temporary stoppage of small-scale mining industry in the Cordillera, the pocket miners have been suffering from the heavy impact inflicted by the order.
He said there is a need for concerned government agencies and the local government units comprising the PMRB to revive the bread and butter of small-scale miners.
He said his call for the PMRB to come out with the appropriate remedial measures to bring back the vibrancy of the small-scale mining industry is aligned with the pronouncement of Cimatu during a dialogue after the wrath of Typhoon Ompong in 2018 for the PMRB to remedy the situation.
Palangdan said over the past three years since Cimatu made the pronouncement, no action has been done by the PMRB to allow the safe return of the pocket mining industry.
He said the PMRB should come out with a concrete decision to allow the displaced pocket miners recover from the impact of the temporary stoppage order.
While he supports the declaration of minahang bayan sites in the different parts of the province, Palangdan said this does not allow the approval of applications because most of the sites applied for by small-scale mining associations are located within watersheds, forest reservations, timberlands, and claims of private mining companies.
He added that to date, the PMRB has denied 35 applications for the declaration of minahang bayan sites because of the above reasons.
He said the PMRB should offer remedies to bring back the source of livelihood of the pocket miners and help in the gradual and safe revival of the local economy that had been impacted by the pandemic. – Press release