Illegal Small-Scale Mining Operations in ZamboSur Ends
Active tunnel portals being nailed with lumber and chained with padlocks to prevent access to illegal mining activities.
In a jointly issued Cease and Desist Order (CDO) by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau-IX (MGB) and National Commission on Indigenous People-IX (NCIP) served last June 25, 2015, the illegal small-scale mining activities in Barangays Deborok and Lourdes Pagadian City and Barangay Mate of Tigbao Municipality were finally put to an end. A Team composed of MGB-IX technical personnel from the Mine Management Division headed by its Chief, Engr. Raul B. Calumpang, NCIP representative, Barangay Tanods of the barangays concerned, members of Philippine National Police (PNP) of Pagadian City, military army from the 53rd Infantry Division Tactical Operation based in Guipos Municipality, some media men from 99.3 radio station of Pagadian City and CENRO Officers from Pagadian City, joined forces to effectively implement the said CDO.
On the day of the implementation and upon reaching the entry point of the alleged illegal mining areas, the Team installed tarpaulin bearing the contents of the CDO as well as billboard that served as a warning sign or “Pahimagno” that the areas are prohibited from any mining activity. When the Team arrived in the area where the active tunnels were located, mine workers were nowhere to be found while there were implications that they had only left the place a bit earlier when the Team had arrived. It was also noted that accessory items, tools, equipment and materials to be confiscated or seized presumably used in the commission of the offense were not present. And out of the 22 tunnels inventoried that were developed by small-scale miners for ore extraction, only 14 were active while 8 were considered abandoned since they were now covered with bushes and shrubs. After the preliminaries, the Team immediately proceeded to the working tunnels and begun nailing lumbers on the portals of the active tunnels and chained them with padlocks to permanently close the tunnels, restrict entry and prevent further mining activities.