February 3, 2017
The Chamber of Mines of the Philippines decried the statement made by Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Gina Lopez that she wants to close 23 mines and suspend five more.
In a statement by Chamber of Mines chairman Artemio Disini Friday, it said:”Mining companies were invited by government to invest in the Philippines and signed contracts with them as partners in mineral resource development.”
“By entering into these contracts, government is bound to observe due process. Secretary Lopez cannot just close mines without due process,” added Disini.
The chamber said announcing the audit review findings were made through a press conference instead of following legal procedure.
“If the audit found violations, the law provides for a procedure. She should have filed the appropriate cases or invoked the arbitration clause of the mining agreements,” said Nelia Halcon, executive vice president of the Chamber of Mines.
“Our members have not received any formal decision but have already been subjected to trial by publicity,” said Halcon.
Halcon said despite the snag hit by the minerals sector following the nationwide audit by the DENR last year, mining firms remain committed to delivering on their obligations and are even working beyond the requirement of the laws, particularly in the development of human capital and enhancement of the economic base of provinces hosting mining projects. DMS
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