MGB endorses 2 areas in W. Visayas as ‘Minahang Bayan’ sites

ILOILO CITY, Nov. 12 (PNA) — The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) here has endorsed areas in Aklan and Antique provinces as proposed sites for the Minahang Bayan for the approval of the secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

MGB regional director Leo Van Juguan said the identification process has been done last year and they are now working on having them declared as People’s Small-Scale Mining Areas (PSSMA) or Minahang Bayan.

“Under the Minahang Bayan the participants, beneficiaries or permitees are miners who could not afford to go into large scale,” he said.

The capitalization should not be more than PHP10 million and works are not mechanized or must be artisanal, he added.

The proposed sites are barangays Unidos in Nabas, Aklan and Igcagay in Libertad, Antique.

He added that they are trying to fasttrack the approval but to date, there is none.

Aside from the two villages that were earlier identified, the province of Capiz, the northern part of Iloilo and areas in Negros Occidental also have potentials to become Minahang Bayan.

Applicants for the Minahang Bayan have to submit their applications at the provincial government for the Provincial Mining Regulatory Board (PMRB) to look into their documents.

Juguan added that Executive Order 79 limited the minerals to be subjected to small scale mining to include gold, silver and chromite and silica. No longer included is manganese. (PNA)