Iloilo City – The DENR, Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office 6 (DENR, MGB RO-6) attended the multi-stakeholders forum conducted by the Diocese of Kabankalan, Negros Occidental on April 23, 2018 in Bacolod City.
Fr. Eryl Agus, Director of the Social Action Commission, Diocese of Kabankalan said that the forum is a continuing activity of the Small Scale Mining and the Sub-National Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) Project in Sipalay City, Negros Occidental that is being undertaken by the Social Action Commission of the Diocese of Kabankalan.
During the forum, the project team presented the results of the Mapping and Scoping Study which was conducted by the faculty and staff of the Central Philippines State University (CPSU) with the Kabankalan Catholic College (KCC).
Engr. Rene B. de la Cruz, Chief of the Mine Safety, Environment and Social Development Division of the DENR, Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office 6 (DENR, MGB RO-6) attended the forum and gave inputs on the problem on illegal small-scale mining in southern Negros Occidental.
Fr. Eryl Agus said that in February this year, the Diocese of Kabankalan held a similar multi-stakeholders forum attended by the Provincial Environment Management Office (PEMO), Provincial Environment and Natural Resource Office (PENRO), local government units, non-government organizations (NGOs), People’s Organizations, Priests and Lay Workers, Quarry and Small Scale Mining Operators, Academe, Media, Business groups in the province of Negros Occidental. As an offshoot, a Mapping and Scoping Study was conducted on February 24 to April 2, 2018.
This collaborative attempt will continue to strengthen understanding among stakeholders as we make concerted efforts in promoting transparency and accountability with the general public, affected communities, government offices, and agencies, quarry and small-scale mining operators, LGUs, the academe, NGOs and POs for the betterment of the natural resource governance in Negros Occidental, Fr. Augus said.
Regional Director Leo Van V. Juguan of the MGB RO-6 said that his agency welcomes multi-stakeholder dialogues as this initiative of the Diocese of Kabankalan. It is part of our mandate to work hand-in-hand with our stakeholders towards the achievement of a common goal in sustainably managing our mineral lands and resources. (DENR, MGB RO-6)