MGB satellite office
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources is setting up a satellite office of its Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) in the province of Dinagat Islands, a mineral reservation area.
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said the move was seen to strengthen the enforcement of mining laws and regulations in the area, which is home to various mining operations including those of Nickel Asia subsidiaries Hinatuan Mining Corp. and Cagdianao Mining Corp., Vista Buena Mining Corp. and East Coast Mineral Resources.
“Establishing a satellite office there would help ensure that we protect the richness of its biodiversity from the mountains to the sea, benefiting more of its inhabitants,” he added.
The establishment of satellite offices in the provinces is one of the policy reforms being introduced by the secretary, which the agency said would help ensure “a people-oriented mining sector.”
Dinagat Islands has abundant mineral deposits particularly nickel and chromite.
It has a high eco-tourism potential given its pristine beaches and beautiful islands. It has been included in the list of key biodiversity areas for being a sanctuary to a number of endemic species of animals and plants, including the critically endangered Dinagat bushy-tailed cloud rat, writhed hornbill, and Philippine tarsier.
A natural bonsai forest can also be found in Mt. Redondo and Kambinliw in Loreto town. This has a pending application for declaration as a World Heritage Site. —KARL OCAMPO
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