DENR implements stricter policies for firms’ rehab of mining sites
Mining firms can no longer expand their operations beyond the maximum area base without rehabilitating first the sites where they extracted minerals, an official from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) revealed Tuesday.
“We limit their mining operations to the allowed maximum area based on production limit,” Wilfredo Moncano, director of the DENR-Mines and Geosciences Bureau, said in a press conference in Quezon City concerning the crackdown on illegal mining operations.
“In a feasibility study of one mining company, they are allowed only to disturb 50 hectares [of] any given time. They cannot open a new area until the 50 hectares where they mined have been rehabilitated,” Moncano said.
‘Collecting subsoil and topsoil’
Moncano said the DENR will push for stricter compliance of mining companies to collect subsoil and topsoil that usually pollutes waterways.
“Nung una kasi yung iresponsableng mining companies tutulak lang yan [topsoil and subsoil] sa gilid ng slopes, mapupunta sa waterways causing the discoloration of the rivers. Ngayon mandated na sila to collect these topsoil,” Moncano said.
[At first, some irresponsible mining companies would push away topsoil and subsoil into the slopes then it would go to waterways which will cause the discoloration of the rivers. But now, they are mandated to collect these topsoil.]
Based from DENR Administrative Order (DAO) No. 2018-19, the environment agency banned extraction activities by mining companies in a 20-meter buffer zone “surrounding rivers and streams in mining tenement areas.”