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Residents of Philippines mining town protest reopening of coal mine
MANILA, Philippines – Residents of a central Philippine mining town have set up camp outside the Department of Environment and Natural Resources office in Manila to dramatize their opposition to the re-opening of a mine in their community.
At least 30 people from Manicani Island in Eastern Samar province want assurances from the government that an open pit mine will remain closed, ucanews.com reported.
Religious leaders expressed support for the protesters by celebrating a Mass outside the main gate of the ministry Nov. 17.
Father Lenox Nino Garcia of Borongan Diocese said the Mass was intended for the “enlightenment of government officials” about the effects of destructive extraction of natural resources.
The Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) welcomes the recommendation of the Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) to lift the open-pit mining ban for select ores, including gold, copper and silver, and complex ores.
In a text message, COMP Executive Director Ronald S. Recidoro said the MICC recommendation is a “positive development” for the mining industry, which experienced what he described as “a policy storm” under the watch of environmentalist Regina Paz L. Lopez during her short stint as chief steward of the country’s environment and natural resources.
Department Administrative Order 2017-10, which imposes a ban on open-pit mining method for select ores, was signed by Lopez on April 27 more than a month before her rejection by the Commission on Appointments.
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That work, especially her campaign against the Philippines’ corrupt and highly destructive mining industry, brought her to the attention of President Rodrigo Duterte, a controversial figure best known for ordering the extrajudicial killings of drug dealers when he was mayor of Davao City. In June 2016, Duterte appointed Lopez as Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources. She did not waste time.
She cracked down on illegal fishing, campaigned for renewable energy, and, most notably, banned open-pit mines and threatened to shut down more than half the country’s mining operations, saying their environmental destruction was wrecking the lives of farmers and fishermen in remote rural communities. But the powerful mining companies struck back, lobbying the country’s Congress and getting her thrown out of office last May.
Party-List Rep. Arnel U. Ty of LPGMA, the chairman of the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives, underscored the need for more incentives to promote domestic processing of minerals.
During his speech at a mining conference on Tuesday, Ty said calls to put up more mineral-processing plants in the country should be backed by incentives and assistance to achieve sustainability in the mining sector.
The solon said there’s a measure proposed in the Lower House to ban the export of raw ores, coupled with the necessity of putting up processing plants.
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY — An environment regulatory agency revoked a special permit it issued to a nickel mining company operating in southern Palawan in the wake of controversies hounding the firm.
Ipilan Nickel Corp. (INC), whose operation was suspended by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), was stripped of its Strategic Environmental Plan (SEP) clearance by the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) during its monthly meeting last week, according to PCSD executive director Nelson Devanadera.
The PCSD’s action, Devanadera said, came in the wake of complaints and petitions against the company raised by different groups, including the municipal government of Brooke’s Point where it was operating.