MANILA, Philippines – Occidental Mindoro Representative Josephine Ramirez-Sato on Tuesday, May 2, grilled Environment Secretary Gina Lopez on her order requiring suspended mining companies to give P2 million for every hectare of farmland affected by their activities.
“I do not question the reason for that, but I question the basis for your asking or requiring the mining corporations to pay P2 million or to deposit in a trust fund P2 million. Can you please educate me or inform me what was the basis of your imposing this requirement?” Sato said during Lopez’s confirmation hearing before the Commission on Appointments (CA) on Tuesday.
Lopez first clarified that the money will go to mining companies’ social development and management programs, and not to a trust fund as earlier indicated in a January 30 memorandum.
She added that it was a directive given only to concerned mining companies that have stockpiles.