The Negros Oriental government is looking into reports of illegal mining operations in the mountain barangays of Ayungon using heavy equipment, although registered as small scale.
Representatives of Goodyield Resources Development Inc. and Holcim Cement, buyers of Silica products from the mining operation were invited to yesterday’s regular session of the Sangguniang Bayan to shed light on the complaints.
Among the issues taken up was the complaint of Macario Pasiolan of Barangay Maaslum regarding the non-payment of GRDI’s extraction permit for two years of about P500,000 depriving the Barangay, and the municipal and provincial governments of the taxes.
This prompted Board member Gil Mahinay and some councilors to push for the closure of the silica mining operation but this was later stopped after it was disclosed that GRDI had advanced P300,000 while it was processing the renewal of its permits.
Mayor Edsel Enardecido had endorsed the renewal of the small scale mining operation on condition that environmental protection measures are undertaken and that they remit the right amount in taxes to the concerned LGUs.
More than 450 workers will be affected by a closure, and this prompt the mayor to issue the endorsement while instituting drastic measures so government will not be shortchanged.
Reports allegedly reaching the mayor’s office said the actual volume of silica products loaded in the barges is not reflect in the manifest signed by the skipper. In one instant, the reports said, a barge loaded with 6,930 metric tons of silica only had an Ore Transport Permit for 2,000 which is not even half of the transported mineral resources.
Enardecido s created the Silica Monitoring Manifest so the right amount of taxes can be collected by the government.*JG
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