The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) recorded 4,963 jobs generated through the mining industry in Ilocos Region in 2022. In a virtual press conference on Monday, MGB Regional Office No. 1 Mine Management division chief Engr. Renato Rimando said the industry in the region is robust as it continues to provide jobs and create wealth in terms of payment of taxes to the local governments and the national government. According to the MGB data, the sector posted gross earnings of PHP2 billion last year, from the value of limestone, pebbles, sand and gravel, shale, silica, calcareous sandstone, zeolite, and bentonite. The amount of taxes and fees paid and royalties generated amounted to PHP93.7 million. "Sand and gravel industry are prime mover in the implementation of infra projects," Rimando said. In terms of environmental protection and rehabilitation programs, mining companies spent PHP8.1 million for environmental and rehabilitation programs and PHP10.2 million for social development and management programs, with 62 barangays as recipients. Rimando said they have issued 254 mining permits, two for cement plants, and seven for mineral processing. MGB Ilocos Regional Director Engr. Carlos Tayag, during the same event, said that although mining has negative connotations it has benefited the region. "Our country is highly mineralized. We have to really develop them as trees and plants in most of the areas being mined cannot live. There are programs on how to rehabilitate the areas," he said. Meanwhile, Rimando assured the public that while they intend to open more areas for mining they also consider the rules and regulations before potential areas are put into commercial operations.
Source: Philippines News Agency