“Ang instructions po sa amin ni Presidente Noynoy ay itigil ang lahat na maduming minahan. Kasi po we will never compromise the environment (President Noynoy instructed us to stop all dirty mining because we could never compromise the environment),” so declared Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon Paje at the Communication and News Exchange Forum held at the Philippine Information Agency. He revealed that as of today, they had closed down 1,148 mismanaged mines that had used chemicals destructive to the community and the environment.
“Tayo po nagmimina para umunlad hindi para bumagsak ang ating komunidad o ating environment (We mine for gain, not to bring down the community or the environment),” explained Paje as he added that they are also closing down mines based on the Use it or Lose it Policy.
“Dahil po continuous ang pagkakansela natin ng mga minahan na hindi naman minamanage nang tama at hindi naman nag-iinvest ang mga taong nag-claim niyan (We are continuously closing down mines that are not really being managed at all or do not have enough funding).”
Sec. Paje revealed a modus operandi done by some mine owners where they claim mines and register these in the stock exchange until their values increase. According to him, these owners prefer to “mine” their stocks instead of mining for gold, copper, or nickel.
“Ang amin pong direksyon ay tulungan ang tunay na minero. Iyung mga speculators aalisin natin sa industriya (We have been instructed to help the real miners and take out the speculators in the industry).” The DENR Secretary also cautioned that those who want to go in the industry should first observe proper mining methods that would not pollute the environment.
A problem that had been hounding the mining industry which most local governments had been unable to curb are small-scale miners that had also become a social problem. These small-scale miners do not really have what it takes to be in the industry – that have no waste treatment, lack the necessary facilities, and have no funding. Government is looking into this, seriously.
Also present during the CNEX forum to clarify issues were DAR Secretary Virgilio De Los Reyes ad DA Undersecretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat.
The DA, DAR, and the DENR invited the public to the three-day Agrikultura Trade Fair at the Megatrade Hall 2 and 3 from June 24 to 26. The fair will feature products and services made possible through the National Convergence Initiative of the said agencies. (PIA)