FOLLOWING the fatal landslide in Itogon, Benguet caused by Typhoon Ompong, DENR has ordered a full review of all small-scale mining sites identified under its Minahang Bayan program. — PHILSTAR

By Anna Gabriela A. Mogato
ENVIRONMENT Secretary Roy A. Cimatu ordered the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) to review all small-scale mining areas identified under Minahang Bayan for geological hazards.
Minahang Bayan is a program under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources aimed at regulating small-scale mining operations nationwide.
“We will be stricter in approving Minahang Bayan sites, and affirm whether they conform to standards that are safe especially for the miners,” Mr. Cimatu  said in a statement on Tuesday.
This comes after cancelling all temporary permits of small-scale mining operations in the Cordillera Administrative Region yesterday as a response to the fatal landslide caused by Typhoon Ompong in Itogon, Benguet.
The MGB was also tasked to ensure that the shelters these small-scale miners were currently residing in are safe as well.
“Their (small-scale miners) residences should be far enough from identified geohazard areas,” Mr. Cimatu said.
The review will also revisit and compare geohazard maps against known mining sites to avoid a repeat of the Itogon tragedy.