DENR orders review of all mining firms in Mindanao
PAGADIAN CITY - Environment Secretary Gina Lopez has ordered an extensive review of mining firms in Mindanao following many complaints from the indigenous people.
Lopez, a staunch advocate of renewable energy, said she had talks with some of the indigenous tribes in the region and heard their sentiments. Many of them wanted to put a halt on large-scale mining in their ancestral domain in the provinces.
This was also reported by The Philippine Star and quoted Lopez as saying that she has a list of mining companies that would undergo necessary review after tribesmen accused these firms of environmental and social violations.
Natives have asked Lopez to ban open-pit mining due to the hazards it posed to the environment.
Lopez earlier ordered an official audit of all operating mines and the moratorium on the approval of new mining projects, according to reports.
Just recently, Lopez ordered the cancellation of Oceana Gold Philippines Incorporated’s (OGPI) permit for exploration and expansion. And leaders of Didipio Earth Savers Multipurpose Association, SALAKNIB, Alyansa ng Mangagawa at Magsasaka ng Kasibu, Alyansa Tigil Mina, Task Force Detainees of the Philippines said they were pleased with Lopez’s order.
Lopez said she will cancel the extension of exploration permit issued to OGPI, an Australian owned mining company, and instructed Director Leo Jasareno, of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, to issue the cancellation immediately.
She said DENR will also issue a memorandum that any exploration permit will not be issued without the consent of the community, not only the local government’s endorsement.