Iloilo City – The permit holders for sand and gravel, quarry and small-scale mining operations in the province of Iloilo held a general assembly on February 12, 2020 at the Casa Real, Iloilo Provincial Capitol. The Provincial Government Environment and Natural Resources Office (PGENRO) of Iloilo with the DENR Region 6, Environmental Management Bureau Region 6 (EMB-6) and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau 6 (MGB-6) conferred with the permit holders on the proposed policy to facilitate the ease of doing business in the minerals industry in the province.
Atty. Arturo C. Cangrejo, chief of the Iloilo PGENRO, presented the proposed flow chart that would reduce the number of days in the processing, evaluation and approval of sand and gravel, quarry and small-scale mining permits. If the proposal is adopted, the number of days in getting a permit would be reduced to 40 days in compliance with RA 11032 or “The Ease of Doing Business Act of 2018.”
The proposed policy is a product of previous meetings and consultations of the PMRB-Iloilo and PGENRO-Iloilo with the aim of re-engineering the procedural process and setting deadlines on every step of the process addressing the basic concern of applicants and permit holders on the delays and tedious process to get a permit.
Other inputs from the permit holders who attended the assembly will be incorporated to the final procedural flow chart which will be approved by the Iloilo Governor.
OIC-Office of the Regional Director of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office No. 6 (MGB RO-6) Engr. Raul A. Laput expressed full support for the proposed policy to facilitate ease in doing business in the aggregate and small-scale mining industry. He said that this would help eliminate illegal small-scale mining and quarrying activities.
Engr. Laput, in his message, further said that it is the thrust of the DENR-MGB to eliminate illegal mining activities so as not to deprive the government of taxes and assistance to the host municipalities and barangays of the sand and gravel and quarry operations. He also emphasized that compliance with environmental regulations is crucial to avoid over-extraction and reducing the risks of the environment from calamities.
The Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) headed by PENRO Raul Lorilla represented the DENR-6 Regional Executive Director Francisco T. Milla. He welcomed the participants and expressed the DENR’s full support to ease the burden when applying for permits by the prompt action to the applications and requirements.
The Iloilo Quarry Permit Association, Inc. (IQPAI) led by Ms. Asuncion Sepida collectively represents the permit holders. The general assembly gave them the opportunity to voice out their concerns to the government agencies that act on their application or renewal of permits. (MGB RO-6)