The Center for Environmental Concerns – Philippines condemn in the strongest possible terms the atrocious move by the interagency Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) to lift the ban on open pit mining that was issued by the former Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) secretary Gina Lopez. This recommendation will allow large-scale mining companies to wantonly continue the plunder of the country’s natural resources and the destruction of people’s communities and livelihoods.
Today marks the 22nd anniversary of the enactment of the Philippine Mining Act of 1995. The Center for Environmental Concerns-Philippines (CEC) is one among countless crusaders for scrapping this law that for decades has only been used to legitimize the foreign dominated, anti-people and plunderous orientation of the mining industry. We give our full support for DENR’s decision to close 23 and suspend 5 minining operations and cancel 75 Mineral Production Sharing Agreements (MPSAs).
The appointment of Gina Lopez to the top position of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is the most significant change in this institution, historically known to be hopelessly corrupt and graft-ridden. Secretary Lopez may not be an environmental science expert, but her environmental activism has given her enough will to do for the environment and country what previous DENR secretaries failed to do.