ITOGON’s new municipal government is hoping to lobby for the possible lifting of the four-year pocket mining ban that has hampered the local economy.
Mayor Bernard Waclin has declared their intention to meet with pocket mining associations in Itogon and seek their full compliance with the ongoing ban in order to drum up support and lobbying leverage with the new administration concerning the lifting of the ban.
The ban, initially issued by Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu in 2018, is expected to continue.
Waclin said that the Itogon government will consolidate various pocket mining associations to renew the previous appeal for the lifting of the 2018 ban.
Previously, Cimatu declared a complete ban on mining activities in the region, leaving many small-scale miners and gold panners without a means of livelihood.
The ban was issued after the onslaught of Typhoon Ompong, which led to the deaths of miners and their families in a landslide at a Barangay Ucab bunkhouse.
Itogon’s economy is heavily reliant on the operation of its mining economy, with the ban keeping thousands of small-scale miners displaced and in need of livelihood.
Currently, some mining activity is allowed, but only in specific Minahang Bayan sites that have been approved by the government.