Surigao Norte gov seeks gold smuggling probe


A PORT in Claver, Surigao del Norte, where nickel ore is loaded into barges and brought to their buyers. While nickel is the main mineral being produced in the province, Gov. Sol Matugas expressed alarm at reports that illegal gold mining is also going on and gold ores are being smuggled out. DANILO V. ADORADOR III/INQUIRER MINDANAO

SURIGAO CITY—The governor of Surigao del Norte expressed alarm over reports of large-scale smuggling of gold out of the province, saying authorities should investigate and put a stop to the illegal extraction and shipment of the highly prized metal.

“Gold bars are being flown to we-don’t-know-where and this is being done without government approval,” said Gov. Sol Matugas.

“The government becomes the loser because it can’t collect taxes,” she said.

Quoting reports from what she said are sources that she can’t identify yet, Matugas said the smuggling of gold out of her province is the work of one mining group.

She declined to say, however, whether the group represented a company or small-scale illegal mining.

Surigao del Norte, dubbed as Asia’s nickel capital, is also home to several small-scale mining groups and large-scale mining firms engaged in gold extraction, most of which are still in exploration stages.


A firm called Greenstone is currently operating and is transporting its first shipment of gold and silver from its Siana gold mine in Tubod town, according to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau.

Illegal small-scale gold miners, who sell their yield to the black market, also proliferate in Surigao del Norte.

Illegal miners at the Parang-Parang Watershed in Surigao City, for example, said gold buyers here supply chemicals to process ore. One of the chemicals being used is mercury, which has alarmed the local water utility.


No answer

Matugas said she has no idea how long the smuggling of gold out of her province has been going on “but we want to check.”

“We need to go deeper,” said the governor.

She said she had checked with one mayor of a town where rampant gold smuggling was reported “but I received no answer” from the mayor.

According to a trade official in the province, workers in the mining industry earned at least P200 million in the last seven months but a very small amount of the money goes back to the province in terms of revenues earned by businesses benefiting from mining.

10,000 workers

Celestino Negapatan, head of the Department of Trade and Industry in Surigao del Norte, said more than 10,000 workers are employed in mainly nickel operations in the province.

But local businesses are unable to cash in on the mining bonanza, he said. Workers choose to spend their wages in areas outside the province, like Butuan and Davao City. Danilo V. Adorador III, Inquirer Mindanao

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  • Jimmy

    Si Gov. Madugas, este Matugas, eh ngayon lang nagsasabi na may gold smuggling sa kanyang probinsya… samantalang ang gold smuggling ay noon pang panahon ni Mahoma nangyayari yan sa Surigao… at hindi lang ginto kundi iba pang mineral…!!!!!  Pati mga communication at transportation infrastructure sa Surigao ay pinababayaan din..!!! Paano aasenso ang Surigao niyan…??????

  • Joseph stahlin

    si gov. naman..maayong buntag…gov…..ay..ay naunsa.. ikaw ang pangulo ng provinsya ng surigaoo..ang mga mayor ay under your juridection…ngay-on ka lang umangal..naku  ang alam ko matagal na yan… wake- up….

  • Joboni 96

    sa kupad at katamaran ng bangko sentral
    kaya nangyayari ito

    kahit ang taas ng sweldo
    at cutkong nila

    mining lang ang magbibigay ng solusyon

  • Sandouk

    Ms. Madugas are you noo…ky? You are alarmed over reports of large-scale smuggling of gold, then you can’t identify yet. Mean to say for media exposure only.

    • xxwolfxx

       hindi ma sabi sa lady governor yan baka patayin siya. the time siya ang governor hindi nag bigay nang permit sa mga miners na yan. A yan sinaksa siya galing nag simba buti nalang na diyan ang bodyguard.

  • ulag ko

    wow hanep! Trivia? pang media mileage lang? maayo kaayo ang timing pang election. basin nangayo lang ug bahin sa smuggling. Daku baya magasto karong election… 

  • boyod

    ang mga tawo dili moasenso diha sa surigao city of surigao del norte ang mga namuno ra

  • jr_06498

    Napakaraming mga nangyayari sa Surigao del Norte ang dapat malaman ni Gobernor, kung tutuong walang siyang kinalaman? 1980 pa may nangyayari ng mga anomaliya sa lugar na iyan, katulad ng pag papatitulo ng mga lupaing stewardship properties awarded to the citizen of Surigao na ginagastusan ng mga Chinese sa kasunduang mayroong silang kahati sa lupain.

    Mr. President ano ang ginagawa ng iyong mga tauhan, nangatutulog sa kangkungan?

  • nti_boohaya

    Hehehe, kalokohan yan na di alam ni gob kuno kung may nangyayaring gold smuggling jan. Ulotimong small-time na prostitosyon o drug dealing e nalalaman, yan pa kaya. Oops, darating na pala ang halalan. Alam ng mga magikerong naka pwesto ang mga nangyayari jan.

  • Horst Manure

    Charging 7% tax gives the locals a big incentive to deal direct with outsiders and when the price of gold goes up it Will be worse.

  • Marcos5

    Nagbubulag bulagan pa itong si Gob.  Waaaaaaaaaah. sige lahat kayo dyan sa Surigao magkaka Cancer.
    Ang Mercury Chemical po ay isang mabagsik na Carcinogen (Leukemia, Bone Cancer, Brain Tumor)etc.

    Gusto nyo ng Sustainable ? Sustainable na Cancer ang makikita nyo within 2yrs. Anong gagawin nyo po sa Pera kung may Cancer naman Kayo ???

    • ulag ko

      cyanide po gamit sa surigao. mercury ay sa Comval/davao areas lang. yan alam na alam yan ni gob.

  • manuelcdiaz

    BTW who is issuing small scale permit, the Governor who else now she complains about smuggling? Baka hindi siya na partihan!

  • Albert, Jr.


  • Albert, Jr.

     What an opportunity loss for our nation.

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