The President hails Gina Lopez as a crusader. She has the political will to impose environmental laws that can affect irresponsible mining tycoons. The problem is, the mining policies in line with environmental laws sought by Bongbong Marcos during the Aquino administration has not been undertaken yet. Anti-mining policies do not help in making the most of the country’s resources without destroying the environment. The Philippines is a top producer of minerals, ranking third in gold, fourth in copper, and fifth in nickel in the world. Closing down mining operations will not benefit the people.
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[VIDEO]: THE PHILIPPINES can survive without revenue from mining companies, President Duterte said on Monday as he warned the firms to strictly follow environmental rules and regulations or face closure.
Miners Seek the President’s Decision
Mining companies ask the President to make a “final decision” on their suspension for alleged violation of environment regulations. The Chamber of Mines spearheaded the first move before it questions the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ actions in courts, Artemio Disini, the group’s chairman seeks for the President to make the final decision in hope that it can get a fair decision.
Views of Bongbong Marcos
Bongbong Marcos said in the past that there is no mining policy in this government today. There is no plan and no vision on where we would like to bring the mining industry in the future. The existing anti-mining policy does not take advantage of the abundance of resources, therefore, therefore not garnering the benefits for the people. Marcos explains that many of the government’s policies are contrary to the principle and intent of the 1995 Philippine Mining Act.
DENR Laws are too Anti-Mining
The law mandates the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), in coordination with concerned local government units (LGUs), to ensure that environmental standards in mining are fully and strictly enforced. But Marcos stresses that since the DENR implemented its “use-it-or-lose-it” policy in 2010, no new mining agreement is issued. The policy involves cancellation, closure, and suspension of miners that have difficulty following requirements and never aiding them in getting solutions for the problems.
Attacking Gina Lopez would not Help
Gina Lopez is only trying to protect the environment. Instead of attacking her. Dialogues between her and the miners must continue to come up with a comprehensive plan. It is easy to say that the country does not need the revenues generated from the mining industry but for the people who are relying on it for their daily existence, it’s like the end of their world. Stopping the mining business is not maximizing the potential of the Philippines as the producer of these precious metals abundantly present in the land.