By Joseph Jubelag
T’BOLI, SOUTH COTABATO- The Mines and Geo-Sciences Bureau (MGB) has asked the Provincial Mining and Regulatory Board (PMRB), chaired by Governor Daisy Avance-Fuentes, to implement the stoppage order against small-scale mining operations in the Kematu gold rush area here after a miner was trapped inside a collapsed mining tunnel recently.
MGB-12 regional director Constancio Paye said the PMRB should strictly implement the stoppage order issued in July 2017 against small-scale miners who have been operating illegally in the gold rush area.
Local disaster officials rescued a small-scale miner who was trapped inside a mining tunnel which collapsed at the height of Typhoon Ompong last September 18.
Rescuers extracted Jaime Valdez, 33, who was trapped for more than 24 hours under the collapsed mining tunnel owned by a certain Jojo Casensa.
Paye said the PMRB should close down small-scale mining tunnels which are not safe for underground mine working condition within the Kematu gold-rush area.
Engr. Efren Garrido, head of MGB-12 Mines Safety and Development Division, said the MGB has ordered the closure of at least 40 small-scale mining tunnels within the Kematu mining area since 2017 for violating mining safety standards and regulations.
He said many of the small-scale mining tunnels are located within the geo-hazards areas.
T’boli Mayor Dibu Tuan said the PMRB should strictly impose the safety standards among small-scale mining tunnels to avoid accidents and disaster in the mining area.
He said the local government is closely monitoring the small-scale mining operations in the Kematu mining area and has asked the PMRB to close down erring mining tunnels.