The Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of Brooke’s Point has issued a cease and desist order (CDO) against Ipilan Nickel Corporation’s (INC) construction of a causeway and jetty port in Barangay Maasin.

CENRO Brooke’s Point issued the CDO after receiving complaints from residents of Brgy. Maasin and after finding out that INC’s application for miscellaneous lease agreement (MLA) for the said construction is still on process and pending before the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) MIMAROPA Regional Office.

Board member Albert Rama said the INC should abide by rules of responsible mining after the company was again found violating laws when it started the construction.

Rama, who chairs the Sangguniang Panlalawigan’s committee on environment, said the mining company has been a perennial problem citing various violations.

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“Our recommendation is for them to stop their operation and then for them to follow the tenets of responsible mining. Simula pa lang problema na sila – sa tree cutting permit and then ito na naman ngayon. Hindi ito alinsunod sa responsible mining,” Rama said.

“Compliance pa lang sa mga requirements, hindi na sila sumusunod, how much more pag nasa operation na sila. At marami pang problemang lumalabas na dapat pa nilang i-comply pati sa LGU,” he added.

Rama also said the construction permit that INC obtained from Philippine Ports Authority is not enough.

“Wala namang bisa yung permit na binigay ng PPA dahil kulang pa yung kanilang papeles. Yung construction ay subject for compliance ng requirements,” he explained.

Meanwhile, sought for comment, INC resident mine manager Alex Carabis said they have stopped the construction and will be forwarding the required documents to the CENRO.

“We have complied with the CENRO’s order while in the process of clarifying with them the issues raised and also providing them the necessary documents about the causeway construction,” Arabis said in a text message.

Board member Cesareo Benedito Jr. brought out the port construction issue in his privilege speech last week where he stated that INC has started operation despite not having necessary requirements.

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