The Daily Manila Shimbun


DENR chief on closure, suspension of mines: My decision stands

February 9, 2017

Environment Secretary Gina Lopez said on Thursday that whatever will be the outcome of the multi-stakeholder review on her order to close the 23 mining sites in the country is purely "recommendatory."

In a text message to Manila Shimbun, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) chief insisted that her "decision stands."

"If the MICC wants to do this, they can...whatever they do is recommendatory, not decision-making," she said.

She reiterated that there is a law protecting the watersheds and the ecosystems.

"My stand that there should be no mining in watersheds stands," Lopez stressed.

The MICC, which Lopez and Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III co-chaired, issued Resolution No. 6 Thursday night after about four hours of meeting regarding the DENR's order to shut down the operations of 23 mining projects and suspend five others due to violations of mining laws and for being on watershed areas.

The Resolution provides for the MICC's creation of a multi-stakeholder review and advise the DENR on the performance of existing mining operations in consultation with local government units.

The review shall be based on the guidelines and parameters set forth in the specific mining contract and in other pertinent laws, "taking into account the valid exercise of the State's police power to serve the common good, especially of the poor," the Resolution stated.

"Those found guilty of violating mining contracts, laws and regulations, after observance of due process, shall be meted the appropriate penalty under relevant laws," it added. Celerina Monte/DMS