Senator Nancy Binay expressed belief that the government needs to allocate the right funding to agencies in charge of implementing mining laws in order to fully open the country’s mining industry and increase its potential,

During the Senate finance subcommittee B hearing on the proposed P23-billion budget of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) today (Oct 11), Binay noted that violations are being committed by both large and small-scale miners .

Unless DENR is given enough funding for it to monitor and make sure that mining firms are following the law, it is unlikely for the country to open fully the mining industry, she said

DENR Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga agreed with Binay, adding that the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) was only given P1.39 billion which is too small compared to the scale of resources that it is supposed to be overseeing, managing, protecting and possibly enhancing.

On the preservation of the Sierra Madre mountain range, Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva, during the hybrid briefing on the proposed DENR P23 billion budget, noted the significance of preserving the Sierra Madre mountain range for slowing down flooding and reducing typhoon-related calamities.

The Sierra Madre, the longest mountain range in the Philippines, spans over 540 kilometers.

It runs from the province of Cagayan down to the province of Quezon.

“I was listening attentively to the questions raised in your initiatives in order to preserve and appreciate the presence of our Sierra Madre. I think, we are all aware of what happened during the last super typhoon and Sierra Madre, which stretches for 500 kilometers, has shielded the entire Luzon – Metro Manila, Cagayan, Bulacan, Isabela, Nueva, Vizcaya, Nueva Ecija, Quirino, Aurora, Quezon, Rizal and Laguna,’’ Villanueva said.

Villanueva said the Sierra Madre stabilizes the water flow, tries to prevent typhoon-related calamities and provides a path for slowing down and often taking the impact of the typhoon.

‘’The rugged mountain slopes can mitigate strong winds. The forest also absorbed the heavy rains,” he added.

When he asked DENR officials about the fund to be allocated from the agency’s proposed budget for the conservation and management of the mountain range. DENR Undersecretary Analiza Rebuelta-Teh said the budget allocated for the Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park, which is situated at the northern part of the range in Isabela, for 2023 is P9.9 million.

Source: Manila Bulletin (