BAGUIO C ITY – The Chamber of Mines of the Philippines yesterday welcomed the move of the Minerals Industry Coordinating Council, led by Department of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, to “create a multi-stakeholder review and advise the DENR on the performance of existing mine operations in consultation with local government units.”
“We thank the DOF secretary for this show of concern for the industry. This step towards a resolution of the mines audit is in consonance with President Rodrigo Duterte’s thrust on good governance and active involvement of sectors which could be significant contributors to nationbuilding,” COMP chairman Art Disini said.
He added the move of the MICC will certainly give the mines for closure or suspension the opportunity to address the allegations hurled at them. This also means these mines will remain operational and relieve the fears of our communities and employees.
However, the Chamber continues to press for the truth citing their right to information.
“The only way forward is to know the truth. The Chamber demands to see the actual results of the standardized environmental assessment tests each mining company was subjected to and the specific violations that merited their closure or suspension. These tests should have been conducted during the period Department of Environment and Natural Resources secretary-designate Gina Lopez claims the follow up audits were done,” Disini asserted.
According to Disini, knowledge of the extent of violations, if indeed there are, will help mining firms direct their efforts to eliminate or minimize impacts of these gaps in the operation.
“We believe this is how due process, rule of law are upheld.”
On Wednesday, COMP filed an FOI request with the DENR to compel Lopez to come out with the full audit results.
“Only when these data is produced could a thorough review be conducted as stated in the MICC resolution and we will continue to wait in the name of truth, fairness and legality,” Disini ended.
By Dexter A. See