T’BOLI, SOUTH COTABATO — Some seventy-five (75) small-scale mining (SSM) operators in T’boli faced possible closure of their tunnel or “adit” once the Cease and Desist Order (CDO) will be serve to them anytime from now by deputized enforcers of the Provincial Mining Regulatory Board (PMRB).
The CDO issued by PMRB was signed last October 26 by both Efren Carido, Mines and Geo-Sciences Bureau (MGB) 12 Officer-In-Charge and PMRB Chairperson and Governor Daisy Avance Fuentes, PMRB Co-Chairperson.
Environment Management Specialist Agnes Castanares of the Provincial Environment Management Office – Mines and Geo-Sciences Management Division confirmed that 75 SSM operators located in Barangays Desawo and Kematu here are the subject of the CDO for their illegal SSM operation outside the declared Minahang Bayan (MB) areas.
“We will further investigate if how many of these SSM operators have active permits issued by our (PEMO) office,” EMS Castanares added.
Those with active permits, Castanares revealed, will be allowed to operate until the expiry of their permits but after which, closure of tunnels will follow.
Based from the date submitted by MGB 12 after making their assessment and inventory about a few months ago showed that there are 159 tunnels in this municipality, of which 110 are located in Kematu and 49 are in Desawo.
The MGB 12 report further indicated that 34 tunnels are within MB and with permit; 47 tunnels are within MB but without permit; 3 tunnels are abandoned; and the 75 tunnels outside the MB subject for Application for Product Sharing Agreement or APSA that is included in the CDO.