Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office No. V in partnership with The BAN Toxics (BT) through the Mine Safety Environment and Social Development Division and Mine Management Division conducted a two-day training/seminar on June 21-22, 2018 held at Brgy. Malaya, Labo, Camarines Norte and Brgy. Luklukan Sur, Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte. A total of One Hundred and Eighty-Two (182) participants consist of small scale miners and gold milling operators attended the said training.

BAN Toxics is an independent non-government environmental organization focused on the advancement of environmental justice, children’s health, and toxics elimination. Working closely with partner communities and other NGOs in both the local and international levels, the BAN Toxics seek the assistance of Mines and Geosciences Bureau as the lead agency government in mining related community in the conduct of training.

The training/seminar aims to educate the small-scale miners association/community of the governing rules and regulations on small scale mining and mine workers safety and health issues. Engr. Jasper F. Laviste, Sr. Science Research Specialist and Engr. Emilio E. Bulalacao, Jr., Engineer I, discussed the following topics:

  1. Republic Act 7076: People’s Small-Scale Mining Program and Executive Order 79: Institutionalizing and Implementing Reforms in the Philippine Mining Sector, Provides Policies and Guidelines to Ensure Environmental Protection and Responsible Mining in the Utilization of Mineral Resources.

  2. Basic occupational Safety and Health – Basic safety procedures involving mechanical and electrical installations.

  3. Small Scale Mine Safety Rules and Regulations (DAO 97-30), Hazard Identification, Mine Ventilation/Escape Ways, Use of Rescue/Breathing Apparatus, Walk Around Training, Emergency Response Team and Emergency Procedures.

An open forum was conducted after the lectures. One of the matters discussed was the priority that will be given to senior citizens on their application for small scale license provided that they are mentally and physically capable of undertaking jobs. However, protest from senior citizens to work underground was raised. Engr. Laviste explained the Department of Labor and Employment rule stating that only fifty-six (56) years old and below are permitted to work underground hence senior citizens are not allowed to work underground.