MANILA, Philippines — The local mining industry has woken up from a 10-month long nightmare after the Commission on Appointments (CA) rejected Gina Lopez as chief of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) after three hearings, stakeholders said.
The Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) said the CA members decision to not confirm Lopez is a welcome development for the industry, which has been under the scrutiny of the department during Lopez’s stint as DENR head.
“Of course, we are very thankful. We have been agonizing for the past 10 months. I just think that we made our point and we were able to discuss the issues we brought forward. We were able to articulate the points that we want,” COMP Executive Vice President Nelia Halcon told The STAR.
Among the Cabinet members, Lopez faced the strongest opposition after mining companies and mining host communities filed their position papers against her confirmation.
Halcon emphasized that the industry believed in the objectivity of the CA in coming up with the decision as Lopez failed to explain the legalities of her recent decisions and policy making, rendering her unfit for the position.