In adherence to good governance advocacy and in the pursuit of transparancy, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau-IX recently conducted an Information, Education and Communication (IEC) and Public Hearing relative to the proposed Mineral Reservation within Zamboanga Peninsula (North Kabasalan Mineral Reservation) in identified potential areas located in the Municipality of Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay Province.

The said activities were conducted from January 24-26, 2018 in the barangays of Lacnapan, Peñaranda and Sanghanan, respectively and were attended by some members of the Municipal Council, local barangay leaders, people’s organization, women’s organization, IP’s, religious groups and other interested parties.

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau celebrated its 119th Year Anniversary on November 28, 2017. To commemorate this milestone, MGB-IX invited Rev. Fr. Marsh Villagracia to celebrate the Holy Eucharist as a thanksgiving. A short program honoring employees that has been with the regional bureau for more than two decades was then followed with a sumptuous lunch shared among the employees.

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau dates back during the Spanish regime, known as the "Inspeccion General de Minas." It took charge of the administration and disposition of minerals and mineral lands but was abolished on July 1, 1886 although its functions and personnel were merged with the General Directorate of Civil Administration.

Under the Philippine Revolutionary Republic, the Departamento de Fomento, translated as Department of Public Welfare was created by virtue of the decree signed by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo on November 28, 1898 thus on November 29, 1898, the President signed a decree creating the four (4) divisions of Departamento de Fomento and one of these divisions was the Industry and Agriculture Division. The Mines Section and the Mountains Sections were also formed, wherein the former was under the director of Industry and Agriculture, and latter was under the director of Publicas.

Meantime, MGB-IX was established in April 11, 1978, by virtue of Mines Administrative Order No. MRD-22, Series of 1977, signed by then Minister of Natural Resources, Jose J. Leido, upon the recommendation of the Director of Mines, Juanito C. Fernandez, wherein Mineral District Office No. 4 was created, comprising the provinces of Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi and the cities of Zamboanga, Dipolog, Dapitan, Pagadian and Basilan.

The MGB-IX Regional Office is presently located at the former DENR-IX Regional Office in Pasonanca Park, Pasonanca, Zamboanga City headed by its OIC, Regional Director, Engr. Alfredo T. Relampagos.

      There is a growing awareness to the environmental threats posed by the abandoned mines that are scattered in the country today. As most of these mines were developed long before the enactment of the Philippine Mining Act and current environmental legislations, casual efforts were only initiated, if any, by the operators before they totally abandoned the area. Without appropriate management interventions, these mines were left to pollute vital waterways, such as heavy metals released from underground and surface mine workings, acid mine drainage from the reaction of exposed pyrites and sulphide materials present in the natural environment, and siltation due to exposed mine-out areas, among other environmental problems. Unrestricted access to degraded mine structures nearing collapse and neglected tailings ponds also remain constant risk to nearby communities.