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Monday, July 15, 2024

Eastern Samar vows to protect natural resources

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The provincial government of Eastern Samar vowed to protect the province’s natural resources while engaging miners to follow responsible mining practices and sustain their roles as responsible companies operating in the province.

Eastern Samar Governor Ben Evardone said the provincial government considers it a feat to have joined both the Multipartite Monitoring Team (MMT) and the Mine Rehabilitation Fund (MRF) committee that keep an eye on the compliance of mining enterprises with the Philippine Mining Act and with the mining-related provisions of the 1991 Local Government Code (LGC).

“It is the good fortune of our province on my watch that Environment Department Region VIII executive director Lormelyn Claudio, Mines and Geosciences Bureau regional director Glenn Noble and Environmental Management Bureau regional director Wilson Trajeco have all been similarly pushing the miners to comply with all the relevant laws on mining, the environment, and on the social welfare of these MPSA holders’  workers and the residents of the host-communities in Guiuan,” he said.

He said that with the full backing of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and its attached bureaus, the province is strengthening its relations with miners in the area.

Eastern Samar played a crucial role in the inter-agency monitoring of the operations of miners, enforcing responsible mining for advancing environmental and social protection and ensuring their 100-percent compliance with laws and provincial ordinances on environmental protection, social welfare of workers and the residents of host-communities, as well as financial obligations to the local government units (LGUs).

“Because of the governor’s proactive bid for the provincial government to have a more effective and efficient way of overseeing the operations of miners in Eastern Samar, our province is now actively participating in the selection and monitoring of accredited miners,” said provincial counsel Eden Balagasay.

Balagasay, whom Evardone designated to represent the provincial government for the first time in the MMT and MRF Committee, said the provincial government could now “better monitor and evaluate the operations of miners and gain a deeper grasp of and feedback from the field on the true environmental and social impact of mining in Eastern Samar.”

Because of the provincial government’s official membership in the MMT and MRF Committee beginning last July 2023, it allowed the provincial government to gain access to local mining data it has never obtained before.

“This unprecedented access to mining data and operations in Guiuan has led the governor to issue directive for a comprehensive review and assessment of the performance and compliance reports of every mining permit. This will serve as basis for the governor to either support the status quo on local mining or formally ask the DENR and MGB to suspend, if not cancel, the operating permits if found in breach of the provisions of their permits, pertinent laws and provincial ordinances on environmental and social protection,” Balagasay said.

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