Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson warns small-scale miners and permit holders to not abuse the mining privileges issued to them.
“I want to be forthright with you, our permit holders. Please bear in mind that the permit given to you is a privilege – a privilege to use and enjoy our resources, not a license to abuse our finite natural reserves,” Lacson was quoted as saying in a Philippine News Agency (PNA) report.
According to the report, around 200 participants, led by Negros Occidental Miners Permittees Association, Inc. Vice President Allan Joseph Arceo, attended the gathering that did not only serve as an avenue for discourse and dialogues on issues concerning the industry but also to strengthen the collaborative participation between government agencies and permit holders.
Lacson said it is time that both the government and the private sector demonstrate that economic growth and protection of the environment can go hand-in-hand.
“I want to give you my full trust and confidence, that you will use the grant given to you responsibly and conscientiously, and it is my ardent hope that such trust will always be preserved and respected,” he expressed.
Lacson also acknowledged the permit holders who have complied with the required fees.
During the event, the stakeholders were informed of the province’s policy direction for the year 2020 and were also asked to provide inputs on how to improve the permit processing and regulations in accordance to the need to promote responsible mining practices among firms in Negros Occidental.
Provincial Environment Management Office Head Atty. Danilo Amisola also discussed the innovative changes that have been adopted as well as the future development strategies to improve the services related to permit application.
Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Regional Director Raul Laput also discussed the agency’s relevant policy issuances.