In the consultation meeting conducted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), Secretary Roy Cimatu ordered the miners to plant trees and to continue to do progressive rehabilitation work on their open-pit mines in compliance with the directives of President Duterte on the protection of the environment.
The miners were given six months to “continue greening the bald areas” in mining sites and do revegetation work to restore the balance and make their areas more pleasing to look at. They were also encouraged to plant fast-growing trees and shrubs that thrive regardless of the weather, since the President is expecting to see trees “as tall as him” by October.
The order is in keeping with the role of the DENR and MGB as stewards of the environment while regulating and keeping the mining industry thriving through responsible practices.
Secretary Cimatu also announced that the partial results of the DENR mine audit have been submitted to him and that the Department is currently “harmonizing” the results with those of the Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC). It was previously reported that the DENR and the MICC would conduct a “fact-finding and science-based” review and re-evaluation of the 26 mines that were ordered closed or suspended by then Secretary Gina Lopez.
He also confirmed that the combined results will be final and that some mines will be penalized.
Secretary Cimatu lauded Filminera Resources Corporation and tagged the company as the “best mining company” and their mine site as the “best he has ever seen.” The Secretary recently visited the mine site in Aroroy, Masbate that is jointly operated by Filminera Resources Corporation and Philippine Gold Processing and Refining Corp., where benching, a type of open-pit mining, is being practiced. He said he was impressed at how their open-pit mine looked “green” and also how the company has deployed reef balls for their coral reef rehabilitation project that restored coral reefs wrecked by illegal and destructive fishing.
Secretary Cimatu added that coral reef rehabilitation using reef balls can also be done in Boracay and encouraged the mining companies to donate whatever they can to help restore the Island. He also urged mining companies to practice benching, if applicable, to make their mine sites more pleasing to look at.
Meanwhile, Mr. Gerard Brimo, Chairman of the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP), and President and CEO of Nickel Asia Corporation, expressed gratitude to Secretary Cimatu for making the effort to communicate and consult with them to come up with effective policies aimed to sustain mining projects while protecting the environment.
In the same forum, Engr. Rodolfo L. Velasco, Chief of the Mine Safety, Environment and Social Development Division of MGB discussed the Guidelines for the Additional Environmental Measures for Operating Surface Metallic Mines. Engr. Jean Carleen Margery Mendoza discussed the Guidelines for the Approval of Three-year Development/Utilization Work Program.
Engr. Nonita S. Caguioa, Assistant Secretary for Mining Concerns, wrapped up the main points discussed during the meeting and delivered the closing remarks.
The meeting was also attended by Atty. Analiza R. Teh, Undersecretary for Climate Change Service and Mining Concerns.
The consultation was the third leg in the series of monthly meetings of the DENR and MGB with mining stakeholders to come up with effective policy reforms for the mining industry. It was held last April 19 at the Biodiversity Management Bureau Hall in Quezon City.
By: Mineral Economics, Information and Publications Division
L-R: Atty. Analiza R. Teh, DENR Undersecretary for Climate Change Service and Mining Concerns, DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, Nonita S. Caguioa, DENR Assistant Secretary for Mining Concerns, MGB Director Wilfredo G. Moncano
Secretary Roy A. Cimatu during the discussion
MGB Director Wilfredo G. Moncano doing the opening remarks
Participants listening to MGB Assistand Director Danilo U. Uykieng
- Published: 26 April 2018