Vice Governor Peter C. Cua defended the steps taken by the Provincial Board regarding the suspension of the Mining Free Ordinance in the province of Catanduanes.

In an interview with Radyo Peryodiko, VG Cua stated that they considered the livelihood survival of the residents, which is why the ordinance was approved.

According to VG Cua, this is a response to the concerns of the residents after the price of Abaca fiber and other livelihood sources of the residents plummeted.

The approval of the suspension of the mining free ordinance is supposedly part of the process to open opportunities for residents to find employment within a year. Large equipment will not be used, as only residents will work using pickaxes and shovels.

If any company applies for small-scale mining in the area, it will reportedly go through a process, including obtaining permits from relevant agencies.

Residents should not be worried, as there are conditions or parameters to prevent the abuse of natural resources and the environment. The concerned agencies, such as DENR and PNP, will closely monitor this. If the parameters are violated, the Provincial Board will take immediate action to lift the moratorium on the ordinance.

Barangay Cabuyoan in Panganiban and Barangay Obi in the town of Caramoran, which are considered adjacent areas, are mentioned to have coal materials. These areas are reportedly considered timberland and are not within protected areas.

Meanwhile, due to the increasing number of opposing agencies, the Vice Governor emphasized that they are open to any symposium or meeting to have a discussion between both sides. Within two to three weeks, his office will call for the sectors opposing or favoring the ordinance to express their opinions and stance on the controversial issue. (Ferdz brizo/BP News Team)”