President Rodrigo Duterte and his Cabinet yesterday assured mining firms that they will be given due process amid controversy surrounding the closure and suspension orders handed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
“Members of the Cabinet have expressed their full support behind President Duterte’s decision to observe due process before implementing a directive of the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to shut down or suspend 28 mining sites across the country,” Malacañang said.
“This means companies affected by mining closures for violations of environmental laws and regulations will be given the opportunity to respond or dispute the audit, or make the necessary remedies to ensure compliance with government standards,” they added.
Last week, DENR Secretary Gina Lopez announced that more than half of large-scale mining operations failed the agency’s audit.
The move spurred various reactions from the host communities of several mining sites.
“Some 195,000 direct and indirect workers and their families, or a total of some 1.2 million people, would be adversely affected by the closure and suspensions of the mine sites,” the Palace said.
“Lopez’s sudden move to close down or suspend mining operations in 10 provinces across the country, after several Cabinet officials expressed concern over the detrimental impact of her decision, which she had apparently kept to herself and even excluded members of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) team that conducted the audit, as well as the panel that reviewed the audit findings,” the statement added.
The Chamber of Mines of the Philippines expressed gratitude to the President for observing due process in the issue.
The group said earlier this week that the Philippines can lose more than P1 trillion in investments if the directive is implemented.