Ci­matu stops Palawan nickel min­ing firm from cut­ting trees

Cebu Daily News - - ISLANDS - INQUIRER.NET

BROOKE’S POINT, Palawan — Environment Sec­re­tary Roy Ci­matu or­dered on Fri­day Ipi­lan Nickel Corp. (INC) to stop its tree cut­ting ac­tiv­i­ties fol­low­ing an in­spec­tion of the com­pany’s min­ing ten­e­ment.

Ci­matu also urged the com­pany to face up to the charges that were ex­pected to be lodged against them by the Depart­ment of Environment and Nat­u­ral Re­sources (DENR).

“I saw the area, wala na ta­la­gang ka­hoy (there were no more trees). It was very un­for­tu­nate that this hap­pened,” Ci­matu said fol­low­ing an aerial and ground in­spec­tion of por­tions of the mine site where the com­pany cut trees.

Na­tivi­dad Bernardino, DENR di­rec­tor of the Mi­maropa Re­gion (Min­doro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan), is­sued the or­der can­cel­ing the tree cut­ting per­mit pre­vi­ously is­sued to INC.

DENR of­fi­cials told com­pany rep­re­sen­ta­tives dur­ing a con­sul­ta­tion here that the tree cut­ting vi­o­lated of the sus­pen­sion of their en­vi­ron­men­tal com­pli­ance cer­tifi­cate (ECC), which for­mer Environment sec­re­tary Gina Lopez is­sued.

INC, an af­fil­i­ate of Global Fer­ronickel Hold­ings Inc., one of the coun­try’s largest pro­duc­ers of nickel ore, de­fended its move, say­ing its ECC was valid be­cause of its pend­ing ap­peal.

Min­ing and Geo­sciences Bu­reau Direcor Roland de Je­sus, how­ever, clar­i­fied dur­ing the di­a­logue that the gov­ern­ment had sent the com­pany let­ters stat­ing it was not al­lowed to con­duct any ac­tiv­ity fol­low­ing the ECC sus­pen­sion.

“There will be no go­ing around the law,” Ci­matu told com­pany of­fi­cials. “You should be man enough to face the con­se­quences if you make a mis­take.”

The com­pany is fac­ing a can­cel­la­tion of its per­mits, in­clud­ing the Strate­gic En­vi­ron­men­tal Plan (SEP) clear­ance as pe­ti­tioned by the Brooke’s Point gov­ern­ment.

The com­pany is also fac­ing il­le­gal log­ging charges and vi­o­la­tion of Repub­lic Act No. 9175 or the Chain­saw Act of 2002./

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.