PUERTO PRINCESA CITY—One of the large-scale mining companies operating in Palawan province cut more than 15,000 trees in Brooke’s Point town despite the cancellation of its environmental clearance certificate (ECC) and the absence of permits from the local government, local officials said.
Brooke’s Point Mayor Jean Feliciano accused Ipilan Nickel Corp. (INC) of clearing more than 10 hectares of old growth forests in the town, saying the tree cutting went in earnest days after the appointment of Gina Lopez as environment secretary was rejected by the Commission on Appointments.
INC was among the mining firms that Lopez had ordered closed.
“[INC] destroyed over 15,000 trees covering more than 10 hectares of natural forests,
razing them to the ground. Their ECC, along with their
cutting permit, had already been canceled by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). They don’t even have mayor’s and business permits,” Feliciano told the Inquirer.
The town government of Brooke’s Point sought on Wednesday the cancellation of the company’s strategic environmental plan permit issued by the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development, a provincial regulatory body.