Chamber Mines of the Philippines spokesman Ronaldo Recidoro on Monday said there is no need for a legislative license for mining operations because the existing one is already adequate.
This follows newly-elected house speaker Pantaleon Alvarez’s petition for mining companies to get a legislative license before being allowed to operate in the country in order to protect the environment.
“Their activities would be subject to legislative oversight and their franchises can be revoked by the oversight body… if they violate the terms and conditions (of the franchise),” Alvarez said in a speech after being elected speaker on Monday.
Recidero said the legislative permit would be a bigger disadvantage to smaller miners compared to large-scale groups.
“More than adding steps, they should increase the budget of the (regulator) or create a department that separates environment from natural resources,” Recidoro said.
Alvarez’s announcement followed a nationwide audit of mining companies in the country led by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) secretary Gina Lopez. Three nickel ore mines have been suspended since Lopez took office on July 1 due to environmental violations.
President Rodrigo Duterte also said that he would cancel all mining projects that harm the environment.