The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Davao Region together with the Environment Management Bureau (EMB) RXI in coordination with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) RXI, served the cease and desist order last week to all illegal mineral processing operators in Mt. Diwata, Monkayo, Compostela Valley Province.
More than three hundred ball/rod mill and carbon-in-pulp (CIP) plant operators were served with the cease and desist order by MGB issued on March 8 this year by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau RXI regional director Atty. Jasper Alberto H. Lascano.
MGB and EMB jointly conducted an inventory of all the mineral processing plant operators in Mt. Diwata on December of 2018 resulting to identification of more than three hundred mineral processing operators who were found to be without the mineral processing permits required under the DENR Administrative Order No. 2010-21 or the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 7942, otherwise known as the Philippine Mining Act of 1995.
The show cause with cease and desist order that was signed earlier by MGB RXI regional director Atty. Lascano directs the identified processing plant owners to stop processing minerals without the necessary licenses and/or permits and to explain why the cdo should not be made permanent.
The same order, also directs the ball/rod mills and CIP plant owners located within puroks 15, 16 and 17 of Barangay Mt. Diwata to immediately vacate the area in compliance to the geohazard threat advisory issued as a result of the geohazard assessment conducted by MGB RXI dated October 2018 in response to the tension cracks reported earlier.
During the “Lihok Alang sa Naboc” program held last March 16 at the Monkayo Dome in Monkayo, Comval, MGB central office director Atty. Wilfredo G. Moncano, in an interview, said that the transfer of the processing plants to Mabatas area should be made a priority now for the local government units and concerned agencies to prevent further contamination of Naboc River caused by indiscriminate dumping of hazardous wastes from illegal small scale mining and processing operations in Mt. Diwalwal. Atty. Moncano added that this is also in support of the Clean-Up Naboc River project of Provincial Task Force Naboc River (PTFNR) formed by Sec. Roy A. Cimatu in 2018.
Meanwhile, assistant secretary for Field Operations, Eastern Mindanao/ regional executive director DENR RXI Ruth M. Tawantawan said that the transfer of the rod/ball mills and CIP processing plants is in strict compliance to the Naboc River clean-up as ordered by President Rodrigo R. Duterte, which he particularly emphasized in his speech delivered during the 2018 state of the nation address.