• Palace backs Lopez’s mining crackdown

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    MALACAÑANG on Wednesday backed the decision of Environment Secretary Regina Paz “Gina” Lopez to cancel 75 mining contracts involving watersheds, saying the move was based on law.

    “The cancellation of 75 mineral production sharing agreements (MPSAs) by Secretary Regina Lopez is consistent with Republic Act (RA) 7942 that mining applications are closed to proclaimed watershed forest reserves,” presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a statement.

    RA 7942, or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 established a new system of mineral resources exploration, development, utilization and conservation, and opened the sector to foreign investors.

    Continuing her crackdown on illegal mining activities in the country, Lopez on Tuesday ordered 75 mining agreements cancelled because the projects are near watersheds.

    The former environmental activist earlier ordered the closure of 23 erring mining companies and the suspension of five others for damaging watersheds and for “indiscriminate” mining.

    The Palace official however said the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) should establish that due process was followed.

    “[A]s agreed upon in the last Cabinet meeting, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is to establish that it has gone through due process before enforcing the applicable laws, rules or regulation,” Abella said.

    “The DENR is to issue a show-cause order for concerned mining companies and they will be given seven days to reply,” he added.

    Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvado Panelo said mining firms have legal remedies under the law, and can file motions for reconsideration.

    “Under the law, there are grounds for cancellation. If there is a violation, what is the violation that is good ground for cancellation, suspension or closure? One is non-payment of taxes. Number two, non-deposit of rehabilitation funds required on the mining company. So if they did not comply with this, they will be closed outright,” Panelo told reporters by phone.

    “The mining companies will be given due process by the DENR, otherwise, I don’t think it will arbitrarily close any mining companies… Of course, they have remedies under the law. They can file a motion for reconsideration,” he added.

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    7 Comments

    1. Carlotta Fuentes on

      Great news!! A big applause to the sitting government for backing up the DENR actions on closing the mining companies who doesn’t comply to the rules of Law.
      It is understandable that business people, investors and stakeholders would have a bad taste in their mouth because it’s their money! And they will look for holes to retained their mining companies – e.g. that government should reimburse their invested money .. Are you an idiot? I am not expert on judicial regulations on this aspect…but what about paying back the money to the government you have earned from this mines and what about paying back and compensating the damaged done in the nature and what about getting a fine in violating the law! I have no respect to these wealthy intellectuals using their powers to gain more profit in spite of the dirty business they are in to! To the Duterte Admin..Thank you for Saving the Nature and the people and the whole Nation of the Philippines, this is the first time it is ever done..Mabuhay!! from an Environmental activist!

    2. Closure of Mineral Mines in the country is one of the most important major decisions under PD30 administration. This will finally put a stop to the unabated plunder and smuggling of our national treasure which if not stopped do not eventually impoverish our people but our country as well. Wile we still have those mineral reserves in our country the government must deliberately plan on how to harness and leverage on the great potential of these valuable minerals. Why do buyers of pre-selling real estate or condo units invest their money even if they were just presented an architectural perspective view of the project? Because they know that these real estate will appreciate over time and their money will generate income. Minerals like Real estate appreciate over time. So if we can explore and estimate the value of our minerals, then we can advertise that the Philippines is one of the richest countries in the whole world. The government can put up a government owned or controlled corporation that shall harness these minerals then sell shares of stocks to potential investors as what mining corporations are doing. The government can then deliberately control mining activities in areas which are only suitable for mining and not considered as watersheds or agricultural areas. And this government mining corporation can remit higher income to the government for infrastructure projects and social services and will just depend on taxes and custom’s duties but will help in generating income from the vast potential of these mineral resources.

    3. “When my father started talking about strip mining in the Appalachia back in the ’60s, I remember a conversation I had with him where he said, you know, this is the richest state in the country if you look at the resources and the land, but the poorest people after the state of Mississippi: the 49th poorest people in the country.”
      Robert Kennedy, Jr.

      “The story of mountaintop mining – why it happens, and what its consequences are – is still new to most Americans. They have no idea that their country’s physical legacy – the purple mountain majesties that are America – is being destroyed at the rate of several ridgetops a week, by three million pounds of explosives every day.“
      Michael Shnayerson

    4. I don’t think Gina Lopez was even close to bias, she is Bias personally. As she is an environmental advocate. However, she is bias or inclined towards the common good. At the start she even aired out concerns regarding indiscriminate mining. And these mining companies didn’t even listen. A lot have been suspended and with these big mining companies non-budging from the old ways. Then they are purged.

    5. As regards closure of mining companies, how relevance is the Holy Bible in the “physical life” of men:

      Submission to the Authorities

      Rom 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
      Rom 13:2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
      Rom 13:3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
      Rom 13:4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
      Rom 13:5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
      Rom 13:6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
      Rom 13:7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

      Something to think about.

      • The law is clear, mpsa applications are granted outside of declared watershed using
        Geographic coordinates. So, there is no such thing as “close” to a watershed, you are in or out, before the mpsa is approved a licensed GE submits survey returns that the mgb verifies. Again, before the mining application is approved, the area is outside of any watershed and other areas close to mining.
        All mpsa are outside of areas already closed to mining location, that is the law!