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The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) MIMAROPA Region spearheaded a two-day deputation training for environment and natural resources officers (ENROs); and orientation on MGB programs, disaster risk preparedness, and laws and policies on the benefits and privileges of senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs) in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro, June 10-11.

In coordination with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-CENRO San Jose and the municipal Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA), these activities aimed at further strengthening the enforcement of laws, rules, and regulations; and promote inclusivity and empower senior citizens and PWDs to actively participate in environmental-related initiatives.

This is also part of the annual observance of the Philippine Environment Month wherein the participants were oriented on how they can take part in the protection and conservation of the country’s environment and natural resources through the discussion of DENR and MGB’s priority programs and activities, with focus on the promotion of sustainable mining and georesources development.

For the first part, technical personnel from the MGB MIMAROPA Region provided CENRO San Jose participants with updated information and strategies in the enforcement of various mining and environment laws such as Republic Act 7942 or the “Philippine Mining Act of 1995”; the issuance of mining-related permits; the procedures in the apprehension, seizure/confiscation of illegally-sourced minerals/mineral products and the tools and equipment including conveyance/s used in the commission of the offense; and investigation report writing and preparation of seizure receipt, sworn statements, among others.

Meanwhile, members of the senior citizens and PWDs organization in San Jose were capacitated with lectures on the MGB’s role towards the promotion of sustainable mining, geohazard status of Oriental Mindoro, disaster preparedness, and laws and policies on the benefits and privileges of senior citizens and PWDs.

Existing laws require all government agencies to allocate a certain percentage of their approved budget for the implementation of plans, programs, and projects intended to address the concerns of senior citizens and PWDs, thereby alleviating their current situation. Through this program, the Office intends to share the allocated funding for senior citizens and PWDs in improving the living condition of the impact communities, especially the said vulnerable sectors, in partnership with the local environment and natural resources office and its stakeholders.