February 8, 2017
Environment Secretary Gina Lopez said all suspension and cancellation orders for the 28 mining companies will be signed and released Thursday.
Lopez also said she will release to the mining industry the committee recommendations submitted to her by the technical committee, a statement by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources said Wednesday.
“When the presscon was done, the evaluations have been completed days before. What happened was an omnibus directive. It was prepared for all mining companies and our lawyers have decided it should be issued to individual mining companies. That’s why there’s been a delay,” Lopez said.
She maintains that the mining audit conducted by the DENR was fair and within the law.
Lopez defended the audit and said she did it to protect the present and future generations as enshrined in the Mining Law and the Constitution.
The result of the audit has been criticized by the mining sector who said the audit lacked due process and would lead to the loss of employment and livelihood for affected communities. They also said closures would result in loss of tax revenues for the local and national governments.
Lopez has vowed given a year and half to a maximum of two years, she will prove that a green economy can create more jobs than mining could ever create.
While mining has indeed created jobs, she stands firm that sustainable economic development could be achieved without destroying the environment and causing suffering to people, and that inclusive green economy is way better alternative to mining.
Lopez said the issue is social justice and not mining. At the end of the day, she said she had “to make the decisions based on truth, service, and the common good.” DMS
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