Sept. 21, 2017: Philippine lawmakers defer decision on appointment of environment minister

Sept. 21, 2017: Philippine lawmakers defer decision on appointment of environment minister
 

MANILA, Sept 20 (Reuters) – Philippine lawmakers on Wednesday said they would hold more hearings before deciding whether to confirm the appointment of the country’s environment minister, although some said they were likely to approve the step.

The confirmation of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu is being closely watched given the policy implications for the mining sector in the world’s top nickel ore supplier.

Cimatu, a former soldier, replaced staunch environmentalist Regina Lopez who was rejected by the same legislative panel in May after less than a year in office. All ministerial appointments in the country go through a similar process.

Sept. 21, 2017: CA defers confirmation of DENR chief Roy Cimatu

Sept. 21, 2017: CA defers confirmation of DENR chief Roy Cimatu
 

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Appointments (CA) on Wednesday, September 20, deferred the confirmation of Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu.

San Juan Representative Ronaldo Zamora, vice chairman of the CA committee on environment and natural resources, moved to suspend Wednesday’s hearing after lawmakers questioned Cimatu for almost two hours.

“I understand there are some members of the Commission who would like to clarify certain issues and manifest some concerns regarding our work at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.‬ This is the way democracy works. I welcome the opportunity to clear things,” Cimatu said in a statement after the CA panel deferred his confirmation.

Sept. 21, 2017: Philippine Lawmakers Defer Decision on Appointment of Environment Minister

Sept. 21, 2017: Philippine Lawmakers Defer Decision on Appointment of Environment Minister
 

MANILA (Reuters) – Philippine lawmakers on Wednesday said they would hold more hearings before deciding whether to confirm the appointment of the country’s environment minister, although some said they were likely to approve the step.

The confirmation of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu is being closely watched given the policy implications for the mining sector in the world’s top nickel ore supplier.

Cimatu, a former soldier, replaced staunch environmentalist Regina Lopez who was rejected by the same legislative panel in May after less than a year in office. All ministerial appointments in the country go through a similar process.

Sept. 20, 2017: Gacad: Gold mining and the development of Baguio (Part 4)

Sept. 20, 2017: Gacad: Gold mining and the development of Baguio (Part 4)
 
THE construction of the Benguet Road, later named after Colonel Lyman W. V. Kennon, was initially conceived to provide access to the temperate climate of Baguio. Described as a fine, rolling grassy country at an elevation of 5,000 feet above sea level, Baguio answered the need for a summer capital and a place where bone-weary and wounded American Soldiers could recuperate.
Before the coming of the Americans, it took a 24-hour boat ride from Manila to San Fernando, La Union and a 3-day ride on horseback over steep mountain trails to reach the area. As mine prospecting lured more American ex-soldiers, civilians, and businessmen to Baguio, it became imperative that a more expeditious and convenient means of access be provided.
The marvel that was the Benguet Road was conceived and planned by competent engineers and built by thousands of laborers. Governor William Howard Taft, Commissioners W. Cameron Forbes, Dean Worcester, Luke Wright, and Daniel Burnham participated in the conceptualization and execution of the plan for the development of Baguio.

The Philippine Commission, determined to see the project through to completion, approved a resolution designating Baguio as “the summer capital of the archipelago,” and put Colonel Lyman W. V. Kennon in charge of the project to build the 40-kilometer winding road which bears his name.

Sept. 20, 2017: Gina Lopez disputes COMP claim on open pits | BusinessMirror

Sept. 20, 2017: Gina Lopez disputes COMP claim on open pits | BusinessMirror
 

Former Environment Secretary Regina Paz L. Lopez on Monday refuted Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) Chairman Gerard H. Brimo’s critique of her policy pronouncements and order banning the open-pit mining method in the Philippines.

Lopez clarified that the open-pit mining ban applies not to nickel mining, but that of gold, copper, mercury and silver.

“He [Brimo] is confusing the issue.  The ban on open-pit mining is not a ban on nickel.  It’s not on nickel.  It’s a ban on gold, copper, mercury, silver,” she told the BusinessMirror.

Sept. 15, 2017: Kalinga alarmed by transport of boulders

Sept. 15, 2017: Kalinga alarmed by transport of boulders
 

TABUK CITY, Kalinga: Local residents in the province are alarmed by the continuous transport of boulders from Chico River to other towns and Cagayan in spite the resolution by the Provincial Board stopping its hauling.

Photos of the haulers have recently been posted on social media touching off spirited discussions with retired prosecutor Arthur Kub-ao Sr. going as far as calling the activity “raid, rape and plunder of our natural resources along the Chico River.”

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) Committee on Environmental Protection, Natural Resources and Energy on Wednesday called a meeting following complaints from residents along the road to Tuguegarao City saying their sleep at night is disturbed by rumbling of trucks. They also expressed concern that heavy trucks might affect the weak Aliog Bridge in Barangay Nambaran.

Sept. 11, 2017: Do we want more open-pit mines?

Sept. 11, 2017: Do we want more open-pit mines?
 

Something made me shiver in fear as I read the news that the inter-agency Mining Industry Coordinating Council will review the ban on open pit mining which was ordered by the former Environment Secretary, Gina Lopez. What worsened my anxiety was the announcement by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau that it has submitted a recommendation to the Environment Secretary, Roy Cimatu, to lift the ban on the basis of internationally accepted and legal mining methods.

Even assuming for argument’s sake that internationally accepted and legal methods will be used in creating more open pit mines in the Philippines, the fact will always remain that once mountains are lopped off and the earth is excavated, destroying everything that’s living in and around it to give way to some 50 or 60 stories deep of open-pit mines, no amount of rehabilitation or technology can bring them back. The open-pit mines will forever remain to be open pits—gaping holes that are unproductive and dangerous to all living things because the artificial lakes created by the open pits contain toxic mine tailings and acid water. But this, in fact, is still just a teeny weeny peek into the horrific scenario caused by open pit mines. The reality is, because of the geographic configuration of the Philippines with more than 7,100 islands when the earth is excavated to create open pits for mining purposes, a water table is invariably hit, wasting the water in it. This is frightening because studies have shown that in 2030 there will be a global shortage of water.

Sept. 11, 29017: COMP steps up efforts to wipe out negative perceptions on mining

Sept. 11, 29017: COMP steps up efforts to wipe out negative perceptions on mining
 

Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP), which is comprised of some of the country’s largest mining companies, will step up its efforts to wipe out all negative perceptions on mining even if it seems impossible.

“While I can speak proudly for our members, our problem is the thousands of illegal mining operations that continue to proliferate. Their destructive ways resonate more loudly than the ton of good work that our members do with the environment and their host communities. This is something that we must address,” COMP Executive Director Ronald Recidoro said.

Sept. 10, 2015: Miners to ‘do better’ than just follow laws

Sept. 10, 2015: Miners to ‘do better’ than just follow laws
 

Mining companies will work on moving beyond compliance with laws and regulations in a bid to become more responsible partners of host communities and the government, an industry official said on Thursday.

Ronald Recidoro, executive director of the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines, said the aim was “not just to follow the law but to do better” given pressure from no less than President Rodrigo Duterte.

“We will fine-tune our Social Development Management Program (SDMP) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities to encompass not just environmental protection and social development, but also to address climate change resiliency and adaptation. This is an imperative,” Recidoro said.

Sept. 10, 2017: Govt wants mining industry more globally competitive

Sept. 10, 2017: Govt wants mining industry more globally competitive
 

MANILA – The government is committed to make the mining industry contribute more to the country’s economic growth, without sacrificing the environment and the well-being of the local people.

This was stressed by Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu in his speech read by DENR Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and International Affairs Jonas Leones at the second day of the Mining Conference 2017.

“Given the enormous mineral potentials in the country, we in the DENR are serious about making right the sound management of our mineral resources. Hence, we have adopted the DENR development framework anchored on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the long term vision of the country or the ‘Ambisyon Natin 2040’, the ‎‎2017-2022 Philippine Development Plan and DENR’S Program For Environment And Natural Resources For Restoration, Rehabilitation And Development or PRRD,” he said.