The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Cagayan Valley has assured the public that no residential house was demolished in the recent dismantling operations against small-scale mining activities in Brgy. Runruno, Quezon in Nueva Vizcaya.
On July 27-29, the joint operation conducted by the DENR, Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines has dismantled various illegal mining equipment within the area covered by the Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement of the FCF Minerals Corporation.
The team confiscated numerous ball mills, shafting, diesel engines, pulleys and other equipment used in the unauthorized mining activities in the said barangay.
Following the dismantling operation, DENR Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn Bambalan and MGB Regional Director Mario Ancheta conducted monitoring visit at the mining area.
During the visit, FCF Mine Operations Manager Allan Day reported that there are some illegal mining equipment that have not been confiscated thus another dismantling operation is required.
According to Director Ancheta, the small-scale miners who were identified to be illegal settlers continued to resist the MGB’s order to vacate and leave the area.
Recalling the fatal landslides that claimed the lives of 10 individuals in November last year, the DENR Cagayan Valley environment chief urged the FCF Minerals to facilitate the final negotiation with the remaining illegal settlers.
“Those individuals have no right over the land and their resettlement is also for their safety and protection,” Director Bambalan said.
She emphasized that the government and the FCF Minerals are now offering win-win solution. “However the DENR will resort to filing of cases against those individuals if they will not comply despite the negotiations and compensations,” the regional environment chief said.
The DENR has earlier requested the mining firm to provide financial assistance in the relocation of the informal settlers.
“We appreciate the approval of our request although FCF has been providing funds to support the relocation, but some of the families returned to the area,” Director Bambalan said.
To date, a total of 40 cases have been filed by the DENR against illegal settlers.
DENR Assistant Regional Director Marcos Dacanay, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Edgar Martin and other regional and provincial key officials joined the monitoring activity.#