MGB-08 joins International Coastal Clean-up Day

untitledPursuant to Proclamation No. 470, in observance of the International Coastal Clean-up Day on September 21, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office No.8 participated the undertaking in strong support to the call for collective effort towards cleaner environment as aptly themed locally, “Bayanihan para sa Malinis na Karagatan.” Said clean-up was done along the coastline from Balyuan Tower to the Port Area in Tacloban City. It was spearheaded by the Coastal and Marine Management Division (CMMD) of the Protected Areas, Wildlife and Coastal Zone Management Service (PAWCZMS) in coordination with other government offices and units of DENR.

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office No. 08 garnered the 1st place award in the recently concluded mural painting contest organized by the Cleanaway Philippines Inc., in coordination with the Environmental Management Bureau RO-8 and Pollution Control Association of the Philippines, Inc. (PCAPI)-8.

As one of its banner programs, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office VIII is gearing up for the immediate completion of its geohazard survey and assessment this year. This is to promptly address the growing clamor from various local government units apart from the targets set forth by the Office. Regional Director Alilo Ensomo stressed that MGB will exhaust all efforts to successfully complete the said undertaking despite the massive exodus of geologists and technical personnel that the Office is experiencing at the moment.


Mandate and Function

president picThe Director exercises supervision and control over all divisions, the regional offices, and other agencies under the Bureau; establishes policies and standards; promulgates rules and regulations and such other functions in line with MGB’s mandates.

Mining Environment and Safety Division.

Provides scientific and technological foundations in establishing environmental standards, guidelines and procedures for mining operations, including small-scale mining, in particular mine rehabilitation and mine-related pollution thresholds; undertakes mine environmental audit and research; develops strategies for a comprehensive environmental protection program for mining operations; promotes the adoption of best practice in mining environmental management, undertakes mine safety and health audit and coordinate the national program on safety and health in mining operations; and provides technical support services to the Regional Offices, other government agencies, mining contractors/ permittees/permit holders and the general public.

Land Geological Survey Division.

Formulates, develops and coordinates the adoption/implementation of national geological mapping programs, field survey and laboratory research technologies and geostandards and georeference materials; conducts specialized researches in geology, petrology, ore genesis mineralogy, paleontology, stratigraphy and other related scientific disciplines, including the conduct of hydrogeological, geohazards and geoenvironmental site assessments; operates and maintains a GIS-based geoinformation and remote sensing facilities for geological applications; and provides technical support services to the Regional Offices, other government agencies, mining contractors/permittees and the general public.

Marine Geological Survey Division.

Conducts marine and coastal geological and geophysical survey and promotes marine mineral resources and geo-sciences development; operates and maintains the Bureau’s marine vessel (RPS Explorer); and provides technical support services to the Regional Offices, other government agencies and mining contractors/permittees in connection with marine and coastal geological surveys.

Mining Technology Division.

Documents and develops database systems on mine planning and design, exploration drilling and mine feasibility evaluation in support of mining technology development standards, guidelines procedures in mine feasibility evaluation; conducts laboratory researchers, in particular rock mechanics and safety of personal protective equipment pertinent to ground stability and safety of mine personnel; and provides and coordinates on a national level technical support services to Regional Offices and mining contractors/permittees in the fields of mine feasibility evaluation and lab research.

Mining Tenements Management Division.

Undertakes final evaluation/review of all mining rights application forwarded by the Regional Offices; performs systems audit in the administration of operation of mining contractors and permittees, and manages the Mineral Rights Management System.

Metallurgical Technology Division.

Develops metallurgical processes of extracting minerals from ores; provides and coordinates on a national level metallurgical and analytical services to Regional Offices, mining contractors/permittees and the general public; undertakes metallurgical batch tests for the technical and economic feasibility of mineral extraction from ores, including pilot testing and flowsheet preparation; conducts analysis of metallurgical products and develop substitute analytical procedures and chemical reagents; and operates and maintain metallurgical and chemical laboratories, including part fabrication and modification.

Mineral Economics, Information and Publications Division.

Develops strategies for mining investment promotions; formulates policies on mineral economics; undertakes statistical functions relating to mineral production and other related mineral statistical data, including micro-forecasting and trend analysis; undertakes macro-forecasting of mining industry trends; and establishes benchmarks in mining economics, including the conduct of socio-economic surveys. It also takes charge of information, communication and education (IEC) campaign of the Bureau, the publication of Mineral Gazette as mandated by Republic Act No. 7942; operates and maintains the national Mineral Resources Database System as likewise mandated by the said Act; and undertakes information technology functions for systems development in support of IEC Campaigns and publication functions.

Planning and Policy Division.

Undertakes planning, programming and monitoring and evaluation of programs/projects/activities coordinates and assists in the formulation of policies, plans and programs for both central and regional operations; and takes charge of project development in coordination with the various divisions of the Central and Regional Offices.

Administrative Division.

Administers the Bureau’s human resources development, records, property/supply management and general services.

Finance Division.

Undertakes the budgeting, cashiering and accounting operations of the Central Office and integrates the budgeting and accounting procedures of the entire Bureau operations.
Regional Offices

Office of the Regional Director.

The Regional Director implements the pertinent laws, policies, rules and regulations, implementing the Bureau’s programs in the region; exercises the management functions of planning, organizing, directing and controlling; and perform such other duties and functions as may be provided by law or further delegated by the Director. In particular, the office of the Regional Director takes charge of mineral lands administration and geosciences services; provides staff services on planning, mineral economics, community development in relation to mining activities, information, education and communication campaign and legal matters, and renders staff and technical support to the Panel of Arbitrators and the Provincial/ City Mining Regulatory Board.

Mine Management Division.

Undertakes processing/initial evaluation of mining rights applications and manages the issuance of mining rights operations in mining tenements; takes charge of the operationalization of the mineral rights management system and provide technical services to other government agencies, mining contractors/permittees and general public.

Mining Environment and Safety Division.

Responsible for the enforcement and monitoring of compliance with the environmental and safety provisions of Republic Act No. 7942 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations pertaining but not limited to the Environmental Work Program, Annual Environmental Protection Enhancement Program, Mine Decommissioning Plan, Mine Waste and Safety and Health Program.




Eastern Visayas or Region VIII is composed of the main Islands of Leyte, Biliran, and Samar joined by the famous 2.7 kilometers San Juanico Steel Bridge (Leyte – Samar) spanning across the San Juanico Strait. It is composed of six (6) provinces, namely: Leyte, Southern Leyte, Biliran, Samar (Western Samar), Eastern Samar and Northern Samar.


Biri group of Islands is a cluster of eight (8) islands and islets located at the northernmost part of Samar Island. It is one of the favorite destination of local and foreign tourist who marvel on its beautiful and impressive rock exposures, lagoons and overall sceneries. This is the reason why in 1996, the local Mines and Geosciences Bureau recommended that the island be declared as a GEOLOGICAL RESERVE/MONUMENT to preserve and protect the shoreline outcrops.

Sohoton Natural Bridge National park is located 25 kilometers northeast of Basey, Samar. It is known for the natural beauty of its caves, subterranean rivers, waterfalls and limestone formation. There is the magnificent stone bridge, from which the park got its name, connecting two mountain ridges where underneath flows the Sohoton River. Caves with unique and exquisite calcite formations are situated in towering and rugged limestone cliffs along the river. We have there the Panhulugan Cave I, the largest and most spectacular cave in the area, the Panhulugan II cave that cuts into Panhulugan Cliffs; Sohoton Cave, a very large cave with a cathedral-like cavern; Bugasan and Capigtan caves which are smaller caves with chambers where ancient remains had been found.


The Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Office No. 8 started as a Mineral District Office of the then Bureau of Mines and Geosciences Region 7 in Cebu City. Due to the developing mining industry in Eastern Visayas, particularly in the island of Samar, the Bureau and other concerned government agencies believed that there was a need for a BMG Office in Region 8.

On March 16, 1983, Bureau of Mines District Office in Tacloban City was created. The first two employees assigned to the Mineral District Office were an Officer-in-Charge and a geodetic computer. A pre-processing clerk soon followed. Its first office was accommodated by the National Economic and Development Authority at the second floor of their building in Candahug, Palo, Leyte. The Office was established to accept and pre-process mining rights applications within Region 8. Final processing, evaluation and approval was still in Region 7, Cebu City. Some employees from BMG Cebu City were assigned to train new employees here specifically those of the Mining Recording Section. It had two Officers-in-Charge on alternating schedule, Engrs. Alexander T. Ozoa and Constancio S. Nangkil, Jr.

In September of that same year, the District Office was transferred to T. Claudio corner M.H.Del Pilar St., Tacloban City.


Some BMG personnel from Cebu

image-04By May 1984, the office had then an increased number of personnel as well as clients. Some BMG personnel from Cebu were detailed and eventually transferred to this region. Then the office moved to Sagkahan District of Tacloban City along the National Highway.

With the approval of Executive Order No. 192, “ The Reorganization Act of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources ’’ on June 10, 1987, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau was integrated to the DENR, hence, the Mines and Geosciences Development Services became one of the Sectoral Services of the DENR Regional Offices. The Sector had then two divisions: the Geology Division, and the Mining Services and Mineral Lands Management and Control Division. The MGDS Office was now transferred to Jones Extension adjacent to the DENR Regional Office where it stayed from February 11, 1988 to April 30, 1997. The sector was headed by a Regional Technical Director (RTD). In the span of seven years, the office had for its RTD’s the following: Federico E. Miranda, 1987-1989; Dario R. Miñoza (OIC), 1990; Augustus, L. Momongan, 1990-1992; Jose Madrona, 1992-1993; and Arnulfo V. Cabantog (OIC) 1993-1994.

RA 7942, otherwise known as the “Philippine Mining Act of 1995”, was approved on March 3, 1995. Under Sec. 100 of this Act, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau is transformed into a line bureau, and Sec. 7 of DAO 96-40 S. 1996 which is the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 7942, the MGDS became the Regional Offices of the MGB and are to be headed by Regional Directors. Thus, Mines and Geosciences Bureau RO-8 had for its RD, Alberto G. Jasareno (1994-1996). Arnulfo V. Cabantog was reassigned to this region as OIC Regional Director (1996-1997).

In May 1997, Regional Director Pedro L. de Leon was assigned to this office. Ten employees with items from the DENR Regional Office VIII were transferred and joined the 43 other employees of MGB RO-8. With the increased number of personnel, the Office transferred to a wider location, so it occupied the 2nd Floor of TCS Bldg., P. Burgos St. Tacloban City.

Sec. 3 of DAO 97-11, “Providing for a Line Organization of the MGB and other Purposes”, states that the Regional Director shall discharge the mandate of the Bureau at the regional level. The Office of the Regional Director now exercised supervision over four divisions, namely: Administrative and Finance Division, Mine Management Division, Mining Environment and Safety Division, and the Geosciences Division.

On the last week of June 1998, the MGB RO-8 transferred to the Nipa Hut Compound at Lopez Jaena St.. It occupied the former Regional Office of the DOST. After a year, a new Regional Director, Eligio Z. Ariate, headed the office. Under his supervision are the four divisions with their respective division chiefs, to wit : Ruth R. Pono, Chief, Administrative & Finance Division; Rafael M. Bernardo, Mining Operations Officer, Chief, Mine Management Division; Prudencio C. Bulawan, Jr., Chief, Mining Environment and Safety Division, and James S. Leones, Chief, Geosciences Division. At present, this office has a total of 71 itemized positions.

On May 29, 2002, Department S0.2002-391 was issued by Secretary Heherson T. Alvarez reassigning Eligio Z. Ariate as Regional Director for MGB R07 and designated Loreto B. Alburo as OIC-Regional Director of this Region and on December 19, Alburo was promoted to Director II.

On October 2007, MGB-RO8 due to the demand to vacate by the former owner of the Nipa Hut which is the family of the congressman of the 1stdistrict of Leyte, the office transferred to its present location at Ecarma Building, Brgy. Candahug, Palo, Leyte.

Fortunately, MGB-R08 was able to acquire a lot for its office building. DENR-R08 with the conformity and approval of the members of the PAMB Leyte, a 1,000 square meters lot which is a portion of the proclaimed national Park near MacArthur memorial shrine at Brgy. Candahug, Palo, Leyte was donated, timely with the approval of the proposed Capital Outlay of MGB-R08 for C.Y 2009, amounting to 6.6 million. Before the end of 4th quarter C.Y 2009, the construction of the building started and it is now completed but not fully.

A 2.2M Laboratory Building for the Bagacay Rehabilitation Project was constructed at the back of the regional office building and is now nearing its completion. Likewise, concrete steel fence, concrete pavement and drainage canal have also been constructed within the perimeter of the 3.525 sq.m. total area (to include the latest lot acquisition) within the MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park (MLMNP) requested for office structures/facilities.

On May 20, 2009, S.O. # 2009-259 again was issued by DENR Secretary Joselito Atienza reassigning RD Loreto B. Alburo as Regional Director for MGB-R03 and designating RD Danilo U. Uykieng as OIC-Regional Director of this Region in less than a year . On January 2010 Department S.O. # 2010-02 dated January 6,  was issued by DENR Secretary Horacio C. Ramos recalling Atty. Danilo U. Uykieng to MGB-CO. Legal Division his home base, and designating RD Roger A. De Dios as OIC-Regional Director of MGB Region-8. On February , RD Roger A. De Dios was promoted to Director II. In compliance with S.O.#2012-669, dated September 05, office responsibilities and accountabilities were turnover from Regional Director Roger A. de Dios to OIC-RD Alfredo T. Relampagos from MGB Regional Office-X on September 17, .  On September 26, MGB Director Leo L. Jasareno issued an Special Order No.2012-731 assigning RD Alilo C. Ensomo, Jr. as Acting Regional Director of MGB-Region-8.