The newly deputized Environment and Natural Resources Officer for Mines and Geosciences Bureau pose with MGB – 7 Enforcement Training organizers.

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau – Regional Office 7 (MGB-7) has deputized more enforcers in Cebu to strengthen and augment the effectuation of the mining laws and curb illegal mineral extraction in Central Visayas.

At least fourteen personnel from the Cebu Provincial Police Office, Cebu City Police Office, and Police Regional Office – 7; nine from the Cebu City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CCENRO) and Cebu City Legal Office, 11 from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office Cebu (PENRO Cebu) and Community Environment and Natural Resources Office – Argao (CENRO-Argao); six from the Philippine Coast Guard; two from the Bureau of Customs, and two from Cebu Ports Authority (CPA) were trained and deputized to enforce the mining laws.

The newly deputized personnel attended the Enforcement Training on Anti-Illegal Mining yesterday at the Montebello Villa Hotel in Banilad, Cebu City prior to taking their oath as Environment and Natural Resources Officer for Mines and Geosciences Bureau to apprehend and/or confiscate illegally-sourced minerals, mineral products, by-products, tools and equipment including conveyances used in the commission of an offense.

“The Mines and Geosciences Bureau – 7 cannot do this alone. We need the active coordination with and cooperation of the local government units and all enforcement agencies to curb illegal mining activities in the region,” said OIC Regional Director Efren B. Carido.

Yesterday’s activity is the third leg of the series of trainings and deputation in Central Visayas to strengthen enforcement of the mining laws and help conserve and protect the country’s mineral resources. MGB-7 has earlier conducted the same training and deputation in Bohol on May 29 and Negros Oriental on June 25.

“The training is very important to raise awareness among law enforcers about the Mining Laws, the various types of permits issued by DENR-MGB, as well as the local government unit’s devolved MGB function,” Carido said.

“This is also timely with the directive of Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia to put a stop to unabated illegal quarrying activities in the Province of Cebu,” he added.

Carido said that MGB-7 will maintain its close coordination and communication with the Philippine National Police personnel during their intensified apprehension.

“We will coordinate with DENR-7 Enforcement Team and dispatch our MGB-7 embedded and technical personnel in support to the PNP activities,” Carido said.

On June 30, 2019, Gov. Garcia has issued Memorandum Circular No. 4 – 2019 suspending all SAG permits issued by the Provincial Government of Cebu pending review. She has also suspended the processing of applications for SAG permits at the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) – Capitol.

The order does not include the permits of SAG and quarry areas with more than five hectares in coverage or those permits issued by the DENR-MGB.

Despite clarification of the MGB Regional Director, there are still irregular apprehensions against DENR-MGB permit holders.

He has earlier advised DENR MGB permit holders to ensure that the required Transport documents for delivering of minerals/ mineral products such as Delivery Receipts (DR) and Ore Transport Permits (OTP) are duly filled-up and in order to avoid apprehension.

He also reminds MGB-7 accredited dealers, traders, and retailers of minerals and mineral products to ensure that their source of minerals only come from DENR-MGB SAG/ Quarry permit holders until such time the governor of Cebu will lift her suspension order to the LGU-issued permits.

“We would like to let the governor know that we are one with her in properly regulating Sand and Gravel (SAG) Operators and penalizing violators,” Carido said.