Manila Bulletin

PCCI alarmed by new DENR min­ing or­der

- By BERNIE CAHILES-MAGKILAT GE­ORGE T. BARCELON Business · Mining · Industries · Department of Environment and Natural Resources · Carlos Dominguez · Philippines · National Economic and Development Authority

The Philip­pine Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try (PCCI), the coun­try's largest busi­ness or­ga­ni­za­tion, yes­ter­day ex­pressed se­ri­ous con­cern that lo­cal and for­eign busi­ness­men would have sec­ond thoughts about do­ing busi­ness in the coun­try be­cause the gov­ern­ment can­not honor con­tracts.

PCCI was alarmed af­ter En­vi­ron­ment and Nat­u­ral Re­sources Sec­re­tary Gina Lopez is­sued a new or­der can­celling the con­tracts of 75 more min­ing projects de­spite a res­o­lu­tion by the Min­ing In­dus­try Co­or­di­nat­ing Coun­cil (MICC) to ob­serve due process and multi-stake­holder re­view on the ear­lier clos­ing of 23 mines and sus­pend­ing 5 oth­ers.

“Due process and multi-stake­holder re­views were guar­an­teed by DENR Sec­re­tary Lopez her­self and other MICC mem­bers just days be­fore the new can­cel­la­tions or­ders,” PCCI pres­i­dent Ge­orge T. Barcelon lamented about DENR Sec­re­tary Gina Lopez.

"She her­self signed the MICC res­o­lu­tion and now it is not fol­lowed."

“How can a com­pany risk stock­hold­ers’ money in projects if the in­vest­ment rules are un­clear and un­cer­tain,” Barcelon said. “Busi­ness needs con­fi­dence that rule­mak­ers would honor con­tracts.”

Barcelon has ex­pressed hope Pres­i­dent Duterte could con­sider mov­ing on this is­sue of due process quickly be­cause in­vestors could put on hold their in­vest­ments de­ci­sions.

He said the res­o­lu­tion of the MICC, which Lopez co-chairs with Fi­nance Sec­re­tary Car­los Dominguez, was clear in in­stalling a multi-stake­holder re­view of the re­sults of DENR au­dits of com­pli­ance with min­ing rules and reg­u­la­tions.

He re­called that re­spon­si­ble min­ing com­pa­nies held a press con­fer­ence at the PCCI last Fri­day and even hailed the ac­tion of the MICC in in­stalling the due-process mech­a­nism.

The MICC res­o­lu­tion was signed also by the other mem­bers of the cli­mate change adap­ta­tion and mit­i­ga­tion and eco­nomic devel­op­ment clus­ters of the Cab­i­net.

In the clus­ters also were the sec­re­taries of Fi­nance, Bud­get, Na­tional Eco­nomic and Devel­op­ment Author­ity, Trade and In­dus­try, Jus­tice, Na­tional Com­mis­sion on In­dige­nous Peo­ple, Union of Lo­cal Au­thor­i­ties of the Philip­pines and the Pres­i­den­tial le­gal coun­sel.

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