The American "Gold rush" and its local version rings true in this northern part of Bohol and hinterland barangays of neighboring municipality of Talibon. Often called (OMG) "Operation Gold Mining"-it continues to attract â€œillegalâ€ small-scale diggers from far and wide,- hoping for the elusive riches since the early 1980s.
But conflict among miners in theseclandestine gold diggings in some areas that did not earlier pose any danger to miners is inevitable as well, said the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
The Mines and Geo-sciences Bureau (MGB) of the DENR region 7 said in a report that it issued a "cease-and-desist" order (CDO) to the unlicensed operators but to no avail as the miners continue to ignore it.
MGB-7 admitted it can hardly enforce its order. Together with the Provincial Mining Regulatory Board (PMRB), it has no other option but to ask for assistance from the provincial government â€œfor immediate stoppageâ€ of the gold rush in areas being identified in the hinterland barangays of Magsaysay, Talibon town and Barangays Banlasan and Kauswagan in this town because they are not covered by mining permits.
Both (MGB and PMRB) said they can only assist in the â€œformation of Minahang Bayan in the subject area for the eventual legalization of the small-scale gold operations.â€ The report however did not name names or how many are those who are involved in the gold rush.
Conflict and tension among the stakeholders in Barangay Banlasan brought about by "illegal" qaurry operations and gold panning along Kinan-oan river here have come into the open that it is already becoming a â€œpolitical and social unrestâ€ especially affecting farmers, who are also into the "gold rush", said a reliable source in an interview. - source, Bohol Chronicle