Apex Mining Co has resigned from the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines, expressing “disappointment and frustration” over the group’s response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s call to preserve the environment.
“I do not agree that we should blame illegal small-scale miners when the mining industry is put to task for perceived destruction of the environment,” Apex President and CEO Walter Brown said in a statement.
A response was not immediately available from the COMP, the industry organization of mining companies and businesses involved in minerals development
Instead of paying lip service to responsible mining, Brown said the COMP should regulate its own ranks and discipline members who do not comply with mining rules and regulations.
“Every organization has its own share of good members and bad members. But the mining industry is subject to intense scrutiny now. If we do not clean up our ranks, all the good will go down the same drain with the bad, when the industry is taxed to death as the President has warned,” Brown said.
In his recent State of the Nation Address, Duterte warned that he would tax mining companies “to death” and use revenues from mining to help affected host communities.
“You have to come up with a substitute, either spend to restore the virginity of the source or I will tax you to death,” Duterte said, noting that former Environment secretary Gina Lopez showed mining communities a “clear picture of what was happening horrendously” in mining areas.
“I am holding all mining companies and its officials responsible for the full and quick clean up, restoration, rehabilitation of all areas damaged by mining activities and extension of all necessary support to the communities that have suffered mining’s disastrous effects to the health among others,” he said.