ITOGON, Benguet – Benguet Caretaker Congressman and Anti-Crime and Terrorism through Community Involvement and Support (ACT-CIS) Party-list Rep. Eric Yap expressed his all-out support to the snowballing clamor from hundreds of small-scale miners associations for the lifting of the temporary suspension of pocket mining activities in the Cordillera issued by Environment Secretary Cimatu to allow the people to regain their livelihood that will allow them to cope up with the serious negative effects of the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Yap, who attended the annual general assembly of Barangay Ampucao here, urged the environment department to consider lifting the temporary ban on pocket mining for at least one year to allow the heavily impacted sector to recover from the effects of the pandemic as the miners’ families are now tremendously suffered from the effects of the various levels of community quarantine to contain the spread of the deadly virus.
While awaiting the decision of the environment department, he assured he will work out assistance from the concerned government agencies to the more than 20,000 displaced small-scale miners as a result of the two-year suspension of pocket mining activities whose situation were aggravated by the pandemic.
The lawmaker claimed he will exert extra effort to give assistance to the affected pocket miners by April and May when Congress will be on recess when he can continue engaging the various sectors in the different municipalities of the province.
Congressman Yap stated that assistance from concerned government agencies will be distributed to the identified beneficiaries around the province by next month.
He appealed to his fellow local officials to continue being visible by personally attending to the needs of their constituents because during these difficult times, people need help to hurdle the difficulties caused by the pandemic and that politics should be set aside but service be rendered. By HENT