#Philippine Mining#Environment Secretary Gina Lopez#Benguet

Lopez lays down the law as four Philippine mining companies shut down

Just one week after she called for a complete review of all mining operations in the Philippines, Environment Secretary Gina Lopez has announced the sus...

Dale Benton
|Jul 8|magazine5 min read

Just one week after she called for a complete review of all mining operations in the Philippines, Environment Secretary Gina Lopez has announced the suspension of four mining companies for violating environmental standards.

BenguetCorp Nickel Mines Incorporated, Eramen Minerals Incorporated, LNL Archipelago Minerals Incorporated and Zambales Diversified Metals Corporation.

"We're following the law. There was a Writ of Kalikasan issued against these 4 companies by no less than the Supreme Court. So we're good. I'm just following the process," Lopez said.

Lopez said the number of firms that may be suspended would depend on the department's ongoing review.

"The audit will not just be technical; it will also be social. It must also be environmental. So it's not just going to be a technical audit. We're going to have teams of agriculturists and fishery experts, to make sure that there is no adverse impact of mine operations in the surrounding areas. That's what responsible mining is all about," she said.

Read: Philippine mining operations under review

Lopez said the law on mining states that industry players should "follow the principle of sustainable development" for future generations of Filipinos "with the view of improving quality of life both now and in the future."

She said that telltale signs of unlawful mining operations can be seen in their impact on the lives and livelihood of people in host communities.

"If their fish yield goes down, if the rivers and streams get affected – you can't earn money by causing suffering. It's not good; it's not within the law. Their quality of life is more important, very, very important. It (mining operations) must operate within the principle of the common good," Lopez added.

 

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