President Duterte backs DENR on closure of mining firms
By Lilian C. Mellejor
DAVAO CITY (Philippines News Agency) – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is getting the support of President Rodrigo Duterte on the closure of mining firms due to destruction of environment resulting from their operations.
The President even admitted there was never a time that he called Environment Secretary Gina Lopez to slow down given the strict implementation of the mining laws.
“She’s so passionate about… not about the mining laws. But about the little men on the land tilling. And she’s very adamant that they… insisting on the closure of so many. And I support her,” Duterte told delegates to the 38th Philippine Association of Water Districts National Convention here on Thursday at the SMX Convention Center.
The President even described Lopez as pro-people and pro-poor. He said that when he took Lopez in as DENR secretary he advised her to just be fair and make it (policies) legal.
“That’s about the only standard that you follow, what is legal and what is fair. Hanggang diyan lang tayo,” he recalled telling Lopez.
On Thursday, the DENR ordered the closure of 21 metallic mining companies operating in the country for environmental destruction, a move that is in line with the administration’s bid to promote environmental protection and social justice nationwide.
Among the companies DENR ordered closed are BenguetCorp Nickel Mines Inc., Eramen Minerals Inc., Zambales Diversified Metals Corporation and LNL Archipelago Minerals Inc. all in Zambales province; as well as Mt. Sinai Mining Exploration and Development Corp., Emir Minerals Corp. and Techiron Mineral Resources Inc., all in Eastern Samar province’s Homonhon Island;
AAMPHIL Natural Resources Exploration, Kromico Inc., SinoSteel Philippines H.Y. Mining Corporation, Oriental Synergy Mining Corporation, Wellex Mining Corporation, Libjo Mining Corporation and Oriental Vision Mining Philippines Corp in Dinagat islands in Surigao;
ADNAMA Mining Resources Corporation, Claver Mineral Development Corp., Platinum Development Corp., CTP Construction and Mining Corp., Carrascal Nickel Corporation, Marcventures Mining and Development Corporation and Hinatuan Mining Corporation, all operating in Surigao del Norte province.
Reports said DENR’s nationwide mining audit traced to the companies are siltation, leak of mine tailings into water bodies, and illegal tree-cutting which are adversely affecting lives and livelihood of people in the mining areas. (PNA)