DENR Chief Lopez stands by call to shut mines

  • Page Views 1437
  • Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Regina Lopez said on Monday she stands by her decision to shut more than half the country’s operating mines and bar mining in watershed zones as an inter-agency panel began a review of her actions.

    Members of the government’s Mining Industry Coordinating Council will scrutinize the affected mines to ensure due process was followed and consider the impact on jobs and the economy after an outcry by the mining industry in the world’s top nickel ore supplier. The review could take three months.

    The council cannot overturn her orders, but its findings could feed into a decision by President Rodrigo Duterte, who has said he will review the planned closures after initially throwing his support behind his environment chief.

    “My stand on no mining in watersheds is staunch,” DENR Secretary Lopez told Reuters by phone. “It’s madness to do any kind of extractive industry in areas which are the source of the water supply of the island.”

    Lopez on Feb. 2 ordered the closure of 23 of the Southeast Asian nation’s 41 mines and suspended five others for environmental violations including harming watershed areas and causing siltation in coastal waters.

    The decision angered domestic miners which said they would contest the move. A mining industry group has said the closure or suspension of 28 mines would affect 1.2 million people who depend on the sector for their livelihood.

    She also ordered the cancellation of 75 mining contracts, or nearly a third of mineral production sharing agreements (MPSAs) for mines that have yet to go into production, for being located in watershed zones.
    Lopez, who is a committed environmentalist, co-chairs the Mining Industry Coordinating Council with Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez.

    Scientific manner

    Senior members of the mining council met on Monday to discuss the review and to assess all aspects of affected mine operations, Finance Undersecretary Bayani Agabin said.”It will be investigative and done in a scientific manner. And we determined that we will probably need experts to look at the technical, economic, social aspects of the mine operations,” Agabin told reporters. The experts would not come from mining firms, but would likely be academics, he said.

    “Even if a contract has been made, the (Environment and Natural Resources) secretary is in full authority to review contracts and make decisions based on the common good,” Lopez said.

    “The priorities I am legally mandated to comply with are in many laws.”

    Duterte has previously criticized the environmental damage from mining and said last August that the country could survive without a mining industry.

    Still largely unexplored, the Philippines’ mining sector contributes less than 1 percent to the overall economy, with only 3 percent of 9 million hectares identified by the state as having high mineral reserves being mined, according to government data.

    (M.Serapio, with Enrico dela Cruz, Interaksyon)

    Share

    New Posts Recently publish post More

    • 20 July 2018
      1 day ago No comment

      Ant Man and The Wasp (PG)

      Mini Marvels! Giant -sized fun is on tap big time in Ant Man and The Wasp. Trust Marvel Studios and Disney to come up with just a crackerjack fun time at the movies. Better than your typical superhero movie check out this crowd -pleaser at Cineplex Cinemas around BC. ...

    • 20 July 2018
      2 days ago No comment

      ABS-CBN Star Cinema’s “I Love You Hater” posts the truths and lies about love and what’s in between

      Star Cinema’s anniversary offering brings together Philippine Queen of Media Kris Aquino and young entertainment royalties JoshLia in a story that shows how hate is not the end and be of it all MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Is it possible to love someone you hate? The generational movie “I Love ...

    • 16 July 2018
      5 days ago No comment

      Manny Pacquiao is back!

      KUALA LUMPUR – “I’m back! With these words, Filipino boxing icon served notice to the whole world of his third coming after devastating losses he suffered the past seven years. Defeats dealt him by arch-rivals Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012 and Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2015, and only last ...

    • 16 July 2018
      5 days ago No comment

      Glaiza works hard in Contessa

      GLAIZA De Castro revealed that some of the episodes of her hit afternoon show, “Contessa,” are recorded in the morning and aired in the same afternoon. “Naubusan kasi kami ng stocked episodes,” she said. “Dalawang taping days namin, inabot ng maghapong ulan, lalo na ‘yung set in Daranak Falls ...

    • 16 July 2018
      6 days ago No comment

      Barbie as Happylou!

      Barbie Forteza has reason to rejoice because her primetime show, “Inday Will Always Love You,” continues to clobber its rival show in the ratings game. Her performance as the very positive and perky Happylou is truly a big winner as viewers just can’t seem to get enough of her. ...

    %d bloggers like this: