Biz Buzz: Boost for Camarines Norte mining | Inquirer Business

Biz Buzz: Boost for Camarines Norte mining

/ 02:03 AM April 06, 2023

Mining activities in Camarines Norte received a boost recently after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) declared Galeo Equipment Corp. the co-permittee and co-contractor of Mt. Labo Exploration and Development Corp.

The decision recognized and gave importance to an ordinance enacted by Camarines Norte’s provincial board, which mandated that, in case there are joint venture partners in mining projects within the province, the partners should be deemed co-permittees to ensure accountability for the implementation of mining laws and ensure responsible mining within the province.

The decision of the MGB’s panel of arbitrators recognized the duties and responsibilities of local governments in the management and regulation of small- and large-scale mining within the various local government units (LGUs) in the province.


Of course, Camarines Norte is known for its mineral deposits of gold, silver, iron, zinc and bull quartz and its nonmetallic minerals that include sand, limestone, clay and kaolin.


“This has energized the province to craft more legislation and institute measures that will encourage the growth of responsible mining activities in Camarines Norte,” said 2nd district board member and environment committee chair Gerardo Quiñones. “Just as we currently have a Tourism Code, I would like to champion the creation of a Mining Code to serve as framework for all mining-related activities.”

“We are delighted with the decision as Galeo has a good track record in partnership with the LGUs and other stakeholders in Camarines Norte,” said Labo council member Rey Kenneth Oning.

Despite belonging to different political affiliations, the provincial board members of Camarines Norte came together to support responsible mining, setting aside politics to uphold a landmark piece of legislation intended to solidify the LGU partnership with the DENR and promote balanced socioeconomic progress both on the local and national front.

“We all understand that mining, if done in a responsible manner, can bring about much needed economic growth to our province,” 2nd district board member Joseph Stanley Alegre said.

The resolutions are timely given the intent of the DENR to open up the mining sector purposely to help the national government create more jobs and spur economic activity locally and at the national level.

“The resolution is just the start as we are looking for more effective ways to strengthen the coordination and partnership between the local governments in the province and the DENR and other national government agencies towards the effective and responsible implementation of the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 and other related laws,” Camarines Norte Vice Gov. Joseph Ascutia said.


Now the question is … can this serve as a model for other provinces where local officials are more antagonistic toward mining? Let’s see.

—Daxim L. Lucas

Direct flights to Laoag

Passengers will be given the option to fly directly to Laoag, the Ilocos Norte city known for its beaches and sand dunes, from Manila with the further expansion of Cebu Pacific’s domestic network.

Next month, the budget carrier will be offering the Manila-Laoag route, its 35th domestic destination. It is a one-hour flight.

“Laoag plays a crucial role in preserving the country’s rich history and culture, and we are excited to finally be able to bring more Juans to this beautiful city,” Cebu Pacific president and chief commercial officer Xander Lao said.

The city is the gateway to many of “Ilocandia’s” popular tourist destinations. These include Spanish colonial buildings, bell tower of St. William’s Cathedral, Paoay Church and Pagudpud beach.

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“We hope that the launch of the Laoag route will encourage more people to travel and experience the Ilocos region,” Lao added.

—Tyrone Jasper C. Piad
TAGS: Biz Buzz, camarines norte, Cebu Pacific, Laoag, Manila, mining

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