Koronadal City—The Provincial Environment and Management Office (PEMO) in South Cotabato is urging small-scale miners in the gold-rich village of Tboli here to look for viable move to legally continue their illegal operations.
Siegfred Flaviano, Provincial Environment Management Officer, said that 10 illegal banlaseros were issued citation tickets during an inspection who who were caught mining illegally.
“These small-scale miners need assistance. The best way for these illegal miners is to apply with proper government regulating agencies for their operation so they can continue with the livelihood properly without worrying, Flaviano said.
Minahang Bayan areas are where small-scale miners can operate legally, enabling the government to better monitor and regulate their extractive activities while helping promote the safety of these workers, protect the environment, and generate revenues for government, he explained.
The Minahang Bayan area in Tboli is one of the first areas in the Philippines that is declared as safe zone for small scale mining without using mercury. PEMO provides small-scale miners some technical assistance, Flaviano added.