Possible Camarines Norte Minahang Bayan areas inspected

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LEGAZPI CITY — The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) in Bicol has recently inspected and validated two prospective areas located in the towns of Jose Panganiban and Paracale, Camarines Norte for the establishment of a Minahang Bayan following the petitions of the Gov. Edgardo A. Tallado and Councilor Sarah Mae Aviado of Jose Panganiban.

MGB Bicol officer in charge Guillermo Molina Jr IV said several landowners also requested inclusion of their lands among areas for Minahang Bayan including that of Benedicto Padua-92.82 hectares and Charito Elcano-16 has. located at Barangay Luklukan Sur, Jose Panganiban; Heirs of Carmen Vda. Maligat and Crispino Vasquez-13.55 has. and Crispino Vasquez-4.41 has., Bgy. Sta. Rosa Sur, Jose Panganiban; Vicente Inocalla-22.80 has., Allan Inocalla-22.81 has. and Gina Ropan-20.13 has, San Rafael, Jose Panganiban; and Samahang Minahang Bayan ng Casalugan, Paracale, Camarines Norte Inc.-19.91 has. and Reynor Regalario 20 has., Sitio Maning, Bgy. Casalugan, Paracale, all in Camarines Norte.

Molina added that result of the validations showed that the proposed area in Barangay Luklukan falls within mining tenements of at least three mining firms and consent of owners has yet to be secured. The area, however is mineralized and can be recommended for a Minahang bayan site; consent of owners has to be secured for those areas in Santa Rosa Sur, so with those areas in San Rafael; and in Casalugan.

MGB Bicol has been actively pushing since last year for the establishment of a Minahang Bayan in Camarines Norte and other provinces in Bicol that will benefit several hundreds of small-scale miners which were for long operating illegally.

Small-scale mining is now governed by the provisions of Republic Act (RA) 7076 otherwise known as the Peoples Small-Scale Mining Act of 1991 as implemented by the Department Administrative Order (DAO) 2015-03, the Revised Rules and Regulations of RA 7076. DAO 2015-03 took effect last April 2, 2015.

RA 7076 is the only operative law for small-scale mining which repealed PD 1899 and is an effort of the Government to generate more employment opportunities and provide subsistence to small-scale miners. - PIA5

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