DOE holds info drive on illegal coal mining PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 13 March 2014 11:05

In an effort to curb the proliferation of illegal coal mining in Zamboanga Peninsula, the Department of Energy (DOE) has conducted an information, education and communication campaign on the Guidelines on the Accreditation of Coal Traders and Registration of Coal End Users” on Feb. 27 at a hotel in this city.

The activity was participated in by local coal mining stakeholders, line agencies including the Philippine National Police (PNP).

DOE Undersecretary Ramon Allan V. Roca emphasized that illegal mining spawns several other problems including the use of unsafe methods of mining, the denudation of protected forest areas and especially the exploitation of children in their illegal operations.

“We need your cooperation to stop illegal mining and child labor. If you continue to buy coal from illegal traders, you are becoming part of child exploitation. These children carry the coals on their backs, like carabaos,” explained DOE’s coal division chief Engr. Nenito Jariel Jr.

In addition to the above-mentioned issues, another effect of illegal mining is the loss of revenue for the local government units.

“The total LGU returns for the last 5 years in coal mining is P22,899,304. More can be earned, but because of illegal mining, LGUs are deprived of their income,” explained Jariel. “Illegal miners never remit, ang laki ng nawawala sa inyo (much has been lost from you).”

Meanwhile, Director Rino Abad of the Energy Resource Development Bureau (ERDB) said: “Ang daming illegal operators na yumayaman. Di sila nagbabayad ng tax, walang mga permit. Di sumusunod sa mining guidelines.”

(Many illegal operators have enriched themselves. They don’t pay taxes and have no permits. They don’t follow the mining guidelines.)

“If we continue to patronize them, magkawatak-watak ang (it would break up the) oil industry; as a result, legitimate operators and mining actors will be discouraged and put up business,” Abad explained.

“Once there is too much illegal mining in a province, a ban will be imposed upon the area. Once a ban will be imposed, end-users will have to import, at higher prices. Lahat po tayo maaapektuhan (All will be affected).”

“We are appealing for all stakeholders, the LGU partners and law enforcement agencies to take part in the advocacy and prevention of illegal coal mining,” Undecseretary Roca told the participants.