New members of the Environmental Crime Division of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI-EnCD) were recently deputized by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau to stop perpetrators of illegal mining activities in the country.

The NBI-EnCD is a newly created division replacing the former Environment and Wildlife Protection and Investigation (EWPID) of the NBI, which has been known to successfully get rid of illegal black sand mining in Cagayan and Ilocos Sur, including certain illegal mining activities in the Bicol Region.

Section 9 of Republic Act No. 7942, The Philippine Mining Act of 1995 authorizes the MGB Director to deputize qualified entities to monitor mining activities. Towards the later part of 2015, MGB issued Special Order (SO) No. 2015-93 for the new members of the NBI-EnCD. This SO amended MGB SO No. 2013-85 for the then EWPID.

Pursuant to the MGB Deputation Order, NBI-EnCD personnel shall have the following authority:

    1. Arrest illegal mining, illegal transport of minerals and/or mineral product offenders, and file appropriate charges
    2. Confiscate equipment, tools and conveyances used in illegal mining activities and illegal transport of minerals and/or mining products
    3. Conduct monitoring and investigation of illegal mining activities

In some parts of the country, localized Orders are being issued by the Regional Directors of the MGB to deputize members of the local PNP and other qualified entities against illegal mining.

The NBI, PNP and the MGB remains and proves to be a potent partnership in the enforcement of mining laws.

By: Legal Service Division

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