T’boli, South Cotabato — The Provincial Environment Management Office (PEMO) has launched an enforcement campaign last October 5, this municipality, on errant Small-Scale Mining (SSM) processors or ball mill operators particularly those who have not renewed their processors permit.
Environment Management Specialist II Agnes Castanares of PEMO – Mines & Geo-Sciences Division led the team composed of PEMO Minahang Bayan Center staff and Municipal Environment & Natural Resources Office (MENRO) here in enforcing the closure order to several SSM processors in Puroks Oro 1 and Lugan 3 located at the poblacion area.
The enforcers wrapped and signed the “packing tapes” placed around the electric motor that drive the ball mills of the plant and coupled it with a warning to the operator that destroying the packing tapes constitute another violation that may cause the eventual termination of their permit.
EMS Castanares likewise required the operators to sign the issued written order before implementing the closure.
But she assured the permittees that upon payment of the required fees and attached with is the contract dully signed by the Governor, PEMO will act immediately to re-open their plant.
Castanares disclosed that their operation involves more or less 45 SSM operators who according to their records, have failed to renew their processors permit.
“It may take 3 weeks to fully implement the closure orders that will be serve individually to the permittees but we will implement them,” she added.
Ball mill plants padlocked were owned by Verna Baranggit, Precy Villa Agustin, AJ Maguan, Lorna Barilla, Myrna Islao and Maria Luisa Gaking, in Oro 1 and Gerlyn Awid, Nancy Geraldino, Concepcion Casensa and Geraldine Viajante, in Lugan 3.