Malacañang on Tuesday ordered local government units to strictly enforce safety rules and regulations on mining after a tunnel collapsed killing at least four miners in Compostela Valley on Sunday.
Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said safety rules and regulations on mining should be strictly followed to prevent a repeat of Sunday’s tragedy.
In 2012, President Benigno Aquino 3rd issued Executive Order (EO) 79 implementing reforms to ensure responsible and sustainable mining in the country. At least 78 eco-tourism sites have been declared no-mining zone under the new presidential directive.
Quoting Environment Secretary Ramon Paje, Coloma said that safety regulations on mining are already in place but the problem lies with the enforcement by some local executives.
“We believe EO 79 is already strict. In fact it mandated the issuance of the Small Scale Mining Guidelines/Minahang Bayan which has been passed by the MICC [Mining Industry Coordinating Council],” Paje said in a text message relayed by Coloma to reporters.
“Unfortunately, most of the operations in that area, particularly in Sitio Uno, are mostly illegal. They are not covered by Minahang Bayan Permits. LGUs should not allow their operations,” he added.
Four people were reportedly killed after a mining tunnel collapsed in Mt. Diwata, Compostela Valley last Sunday. Five persons were reported missing inside the flooded gold mine site.