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     The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region IX conducted a series of lectures on Environmental Laws in Brgy. Pulangbato, Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur, one of the impact barangays of TVI Resource Development Philippines, Inc.-Balabag Gold-Silver Project (TVIRD) last April 12, 2018. This is in relation to the invitation of TVIRD to conduct Information, Education and Communication (IEC) campaign particularly on forestry laws since there were reported incidents on the conduct of slash and burn or “kaingin” within the Mineral Production Sharing Agreement area of TVIRD. Personnel from the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office-Zamboanga del Sur(PENRO SUR), Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) and Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) conducted the said lecture. 

     Mr. Edelberto Obenza Jr., Chief, Surveillance Intelligence Unit of PENRO SUR discussed about forestry laws including its penal provisions. He reminded the community about the serious environmental and penal consequences brought about by the conduct of kaingin and urged them to cooperate with TVIRD in protecting the environment. Mr. Mario Ronulo, Chief, Conservation and Development Section of PENRO SUR discussed about Biodiversity. He emphasized the interrelation of all organisms with one another and warned that disrupting the biodiversity in an area would greatly affect the ecological balance as a whole. Engr. Ventrick Ceazar Albano, Science Research Specialist of MGB discussed about the Mining Law particularly on environmental protection. He explained the proper sequence of a mining operation and the appropriate environmental protection activities at every stage of the operation as well as the social responsibilities of a mining company such as TVIRD to its host and neighboring communities. He urged the community to contribute in the company’s endeavors to protect the environment. He also provided a quick overview of the other programs and activities of MGB such as the Geohazard Assessment Project. Through the Geohazard Map of Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur, he identified and explained the different geohazards present in the area and urged the community and the Local Government Unit of Bayog to respond appropriately. Lastly, Engr. Robert Orot, Technical Support Specialist of EMB briefly discussed other major environmental laws such as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act and remind the community and LGU to take part in the implementation of these laws.

    DENR hopes that through the conduct of the IEC, the LGU and its community will take part in protecting the environment and ensure strict observance of all environmental laws set by the government.