by Jan Albert K. Araña
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)--The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-10 and Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB)-10 have called for the whole of society approach as a key solution for the rehabilitation and recovery of the damaged area of the Iponan River caused by illegal mining, May 16.
DENR-10 and MGB-10, together with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)-10 and the 4th Infantry Division of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, held a joint operation, May 13, against the reported illegal mining operation in the borders of barangays in Cauyonan and Nangcaon, Opol, Misamis Oriental, which led to the arrest of five Chinese nationals and thirteen Filipinos and the seizure of six excavators, one fuel tanker, one boom truck, one mini dump truck, industrial pumps, and other mining equipment and materials with an estimated amount of thirty million pesos.
DENR-10 and MGB-10 filed eight cases to the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office against the illegal miners for violation of Sec. 103 of RA 7942, Sec. 27 of RA 7076, Article 91 (B) sub-paragraphs 3 and 5 of PD 1067, Sec. 8 of PD 984, Sec. 27 of RA 9275, PD 705, Sec. 27 (a) of RA 9149, and Article 151 of the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines.
The MGB-10 discovered approximately 10.3 hectares of damage from the illegal miners, which will take five to ten years to naturally recover. Instituting measures to allow the river to regenerate is also necessary.
"There should be an extensive rehabilitation of the Iponan River; we cannot do this alone; it should be a shared responsibility of all stakeholders," MGB-10 Regional Director Felizardo Gacad Jr. said.
To further protect the Iponan River, constant monitoring and partnership with various government agencies and local government units are necessary to attain the goal. They also urge the public to help them monitor all illegal activities for the protection of our environment and natural resources.