The Daily Manila Shimbun


Lopez hits DOF chief Dominguez for his pro-mining stance

May 16, 2017

Former Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Regina Lopez slammed on Tuesday Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III for his pro-mining stance. In a press conference in Quezon City, Lopez cited some of Dominguez's "infirmities" on his pronouncements regarding mining. She quoted Dominguez for saying, "the solution is to improve governance so that we get the best of both worlds: ensuring the sustainability of our environment on one hand and creating wealth for our people from our natural endowments on the other..." But Lopez said, "Is mining creating wealth for our people? Prove it, Sonny Dominguez, that mining is creating wealth for our country!" She said the government is not getting a fair share from the exploitation of the country's mineral resources. Citing the 2014 data of the National Statistical Coordination Board, Lopez said only 0.6 percent of the government's total revenue came from mining. She noted that the sector's contribution to gross domestic product was 1.1 percent during the same year. "The open pits will be eternal liabilities of the country," she said. While Dominguez earlier denied being involved in any mining project, Lopez said the finance chief’s family has stake in a mining company. She also hit Dominguez for "always meddling at the DENR." The Commission on Appointments rejected Lopez's nomination as DENR secretary after she ordered the closure of the 23 mining projects, suspension of five others, cancellation of the 75 mineral profit sharing agreement, and banned future open pit mining. (Celerina Monte/DMS)