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Province of South Cotabato

Prov’ Dev’t Council tackles banlas mining in Tampakan

The Provincial Development Council (PDC) tackled during its regular quarterly meeting recently the continuous illegal “banlas” mining in the Municipality of Tampakan particularly at Sitio Campo Kilot at Barangay Pula-Bato.

Pula Bato Barangay Captain Celso Doc together with some members of the barangay council who attended the meeting presented the different issues and concerns regarding banlas or technically termed as hydraulic mining in their area and likewise the different steps they have undertaken regarding this problem to PDC.

Based on their presentation, the council disclosed that banlas mining started as early as 2007 and a number of raids were conducted by authorities between 2008 and 2013 that eventually led to the establishment of an Amy/CAA detachment in the area.

The council also revealed that a Cease and Desist order was issued by the Provincial Mining Regulatory Board chaired by DENR-MGB 12 Regional Director Constancio Paye on 2015 after they reported to the said office about the existence of illegal mining activities in their barangay.

But despite of the different actions they have undertaken to curb it, the council admitted that banlas mining operations still existed as attested by the raid conducted last December 2016.

With the historical presentation of the facts on the existence of banlas mining, the council recommended to the PDC the re-establishment of an Army detachment in the area, assistance in the form of sustainable livelihood programs to farmers, rehabilitation of farm-to-market roads, creation of an inter-agency monitoring team and to allow mining in the said area so that banlas mining will stop.

Carlito Uy, acting as PDC Presiding Officer during the meeting due to the absence of Governor Daisy Avance Fuentes, said that the requests were noted and will be discussed in the future meeting of the concerned sectoral functional committees of PDC.

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