Philex Mining will pass audit

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BUSINESS tycoon Manuel Pangilinan welcomes the stricter audit of mining companies by the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources and expressed confidence that Philex Mining Corp. will pass the audit.

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Asked if he thinks Philex Mining can pass the audit of the DENR, Pangilinan said: “I believe so. We are ISO certified already so I think we welcome the audit. We believe we are compliant with the mining law so let’s see how this pans out.”

New DENR Secretary Gina Lopez has said that being ISO certified was not an assurance that mining firms would pass the audit and that the DENR would stay true to its commitment of detecting violators of environmental laws.

The Philex Mining chairman said he “agrees” with the DENR secretary and added: “If they (ISO certified firms) are violating certain laws, that’s for sure, I agree with her. We welcome the audit.”

On July 8, just a week after she assumed office, Lopez already suspended four violators who had been issued with a Writ of Kalikasan earlier: BenguetCorp Nickel Mines Inc., Eramen Minerals Inc., LNL Archipelago Minerals Inc., and Zambales Diversified Metals Corp.

A Writ of Kalikasan is issued to protect the country’s constitutional right to a healthy environment. It is based on Section 16, Article II of the Constitution, which states: “The state shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.”

The DENR started the audit on mining firms on July 1. According to Lopez, it was mandated by President Rodrigo Duterte himself.

Lopez, who has been a longtime anti-mining advocate, told mining companies before to “get their act together” in practicing responsible mining, saying that the “poorest areas in the Philippines are mining areas.”

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2 Comments

  1. Because of their being compliant with the PH Mining Act of 1995 responsible mining and compliance with forest laws, I agree with MVP that Philex will pass the audit. After this audit, it will also show proof that Gina is lying with her statement about poorest areas in PH are in mining areas.

  2. Ernesto Cabrera on

    I can only hope that Lopez’s statement that ISO Certification did not mean passing one would pass the audit is not a sign that she wil harass even the law-abiding miners, seeing as she once declared there is no such thing as responsible mining. Hopefully, Duterte’s insistence that there is indeed responsible mining had an effect on her fixation, since she recently stated that responsible mining meant the people were not suffering. To that, the responsible mining industry says bravo.
    Little wonder that Pangilinan is confident, open even to audits from third parties. Benguet, which hosts Philex Mining ops, not only has the highest HDI in the country, but both the environment and people are nurtured. What had once been barren, jagged rocks is now a flourishing community with schools, health centers, livelihood and enhanced environment. and yes, it is now suitable for tourism, Gina’s favorite topic. This is on top of the contribution of local and national taxes and even the GDP contribution from mining. And all of this is mandated by the Mining Act of 1995 which Gina Lopez had declared as ‘unfair’. Any failure is due to poor implementation than the law itself. And despite efforts by devious elements to portray Philex as another Marcopper, the government’s own scientific teams from the MGB and the BFAR had declared it contained, rectified, and non-toxic, with no real damage to the environment. With Duterte aiming to reverse Aquino’s indifferent stand on mining, let’s not fall int the sdame pattern of flipflopping and instability of policy that the previous administration was infamous for.