Rep. Tallado urges opening of more minahang bayan in Camarines Norte

DAET, Camarines Norte— In order to restore the livelihood of displaced small- scale miners in Camarines Norte, Congresswoman Josefina B. Tallado urged the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Region V to expedite the process of opening more Minahang Bayan in her province.

To recall thousands of small scale miners have been out of work when the DENR-MGB led a crackdown on the operations of unregulated small scale miners nationwide. This includes many small scale miners in Camarines Norte affecting around 11,000 families in the municipalities of Jose Panganiban and Paracale alone.

Under the Small Scale Mining Act or Republic Act No. 7076, the only way by which small scale miners can operate is through a Minahang Bayan duly approved by the MGB. A Minahang Bayan is a specific area declared and designated by the MGB for small-scale mining activity that is regulated by the government. 

“In Camarines Norte, there are currently only 2 Minahang Bayan, specifically in Brgy. Casalugan in the Municipality of Paracale and in Barangay Malaya in the Municipality of Labo, but there are 8 more pending applications that are still pending consideration, and approval of these pending applications for Minahang Bayan will significantly improve the livelihood of the displaced miners in the province,” Cong. Tallado said.

The applications for Minahang Bayan are currently pending in MGB -Region V. The applications include the ones in Barangay Sta. Rose Norte in Jose Panganiban, Barangay Luklukan Sur in Paracale and Barangay Dalas and Barangay Benit in the town of Labo.

“My office has already called Regional Director Guillermo Molina and urged him to expedite the approval of these applications. Director Molina informed me that what is lacking is the consent of corporate entities with mining claims in the area. Director Molina said he already sent letters to these entities and I urged his office to follow-up the immediate response, so that our small-scale miners can resume their work,” Cong. Tallado added.

Camarines Norte is home to the small-scale mining municipalities of Labo, Paracale, Jose Panganiban and Capalonga which belong to the 1st District of Camarines Norte which Cong. Tallado represents.

Cong. Tallado joins the efforts and initiative of the Provincial Government of Camarines Norte in its desire to ensure that small scale miners can resume their decent jobs and improve their lives.