Davao de Oro authorities are pushing for mill operators and mill owners to leave Barangay Diwata, Monkayo, Compostela Valley due to improper disposal of wastes that go to the river.
According to Governor Jayvee Tyrone Uy, out of the ball mill operators and land owners involved in the mining activity in Mt. Diwatal, around 190 of them have already transferred to the Mabatas area before the reactivation of the Davao de Oro Provincial Task Force Naboc River.
“I would like to appeal to the operators to hasten the transfer because the earlier that we get to transfer, the more it is that we will not suffer as you can still continue with your operations,” revealed to reporters.
He also cited the preventive measures the provincial government has implemented regarding the wastes that go directly to the rivers.
“But this time, in Mabatas area, we have mitigating measures (implemented). We have (installed) structures which will prevent the wastes from going to our waterways (and rivers) as there is already a (dam) in the area,” the governor added.
Uy added that operators will be allowed to ask assistance from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) once they leave.
“(We) have proposed together with Congressman (Manuel) Waykurat Zamora to the Department of Labor and Employment for an assistance for the workers who have been displaced (from job) in Diwalwal,” he said.
“We are just implementing coming from a good perspective as this is a mandate from the executive department,” he added.
The cease-and-desist order (CDO) was released on March 16 last year to give way to the full implementation of the rehabilitation project of Naboc River.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 11 said that it was about time to transfer the processing plants to the Mine Processing Zone in Barangay Mabatas.
Approximately 1, 797 ball mills and 31 CIPs were shut down after the issuance of CDO.
“Most of them have already transferred, however there are still those. who practiced wrong waste disposal to the river, which pushed the provincial government to reinforce and reactivate the Davao Task Force Naboc River,” Uy explained.
Uy added that they also started dredging operations in Naboc River as part of the rehabilitation program.
“We have already given permission to the contractors to undergo dredging for the water waste to recover the mercury and cyanide,” she said.
According to a study by the DENR- Environment Management Board (EMB), the Mines and Geoscience Bureau (MGB), and the United Nations Industrial and Development Organization (UNIDO), the river has a high concentration of mercury.