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Leyte SP hosts a consultative meeting on mining issues

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
July 30, 2010

TACLOBAN CITY  –  The Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) of Leyte hosted a Consultative meeting last Tuesday, July 27, 2010 at 9:00 o’clock in the morning at the Session Hall with the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources Chairman, Board Member (BM) Roque A. Tiu presiding.

The main objective of the consultative meeting was to discuss issues and concerns in connection with the Application for Offshore Exploration by two mining companies, Lazarus Mining and Oregon Mining.

It would be recalled that two sessions ago or last July 13, 2010, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Leyte during its second regular session for this term 2010-2013, the agenda on the applications of Lazarus Mining and Oregon Mining for Exploration permit respectively, were referred to the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources Chaired by BM Roque A. Tiu.

The area for exploration applied by the two mining companies is the Carigara Bay covering the municipalities of Carigara, Capoocan, Barugo, San Miguel and Babatngon.

Considering that the application for exploration is the very first in the history of the Leyte SP, Chairman Tiu and the rest of the members of the August Body decided to conduct a Consultative Meeting to be attended by the two mining applicants, the LGUs concerned, National Government Agencies like the DENR and BFAR, media and all others who would be interested on the matter for the purpose of securing the comments and processes from those concerned.

During the Consultative Meeting which was attended by the members of the Leyte SP, namely Chair Roque A. Tiu, Vice Chair of the Committee, BM Carlo Loreto and member BM Tony Jabilles.  Others who attended were BM Cayunda who was the Acting Governor at the time, BM Rolando Piamonte, BM Bernard Remandaban, BM Malou Go-soco, BM Deborah Bertulfo and BM Nikko Villasin.

It was learned from Mr. Julius Caballes of BFAR that the Carigara Bay is a Marine Sanctuary, which surprised all those in attendance in the Session Hall.  But, the two applicants who were both absent due to their attendance of a similar meeting in General Santos City at the same date could not make any comment to the disclosure from BFAR.  Accordingly, the Environment Committee announced that there will be another gathering to treat the applications of the two mining companies.

The representative of the MGB said that there was a time when the requirement for the mining companies to seek permission from the provinces and municipalities concerned was removed. With the coming in of a new head of the DENR, however, the requirement was again included.

In the same occasion, the officers of Northern Access Mining, Inc. who were present expressed their interest to, in the near future, apply for a permit to conduct the production activity of magnetite sand with the concerned LGUs.

It was learned that their company has piloted an area in Tolosa and will serve as the model of their company for the other LGUs to assess.

The media representatives who were present appreciated the conduct of the consultation as it has enlightened everybody in attendance, on most of the issues and concerns pertaining to mining.