Former Environment Secretary Gina Lopez had ordered the closure of 22 mining companies in February after a controversial mining audit.
The technical audit memos of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources did not recommend any closure order, just fines and suspension at most. But Lopez did not agree with the recommended penalties and handed down the decision to close the 22 mining firms.
The Commission on Appointments’ rejection of her appointment has left the fate of these companies to the President’s next appointee, former Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Roy Cimatu—now DENR secretary.
In an interview with GMA News TV’s News To Go on Tuesday (May 9), Cimatu said he will review what’s on the table and is planning to go to the mining sites to find out the situation for himself.
“I will look into the situation, the status, especially in the mining companies which were allowed to operate because they possess the best practice in the industry. I will also look into the other mining companies which were either suspended or (ordered closed), and find out the difference… Then we can make adjustments,” Cimatu said.