Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary (DENR) Gina Lopez has got her eyes on a greener economy, as she made history last February 2, Thursday.
The nature advocate and environmentalist shut down 23 mining firms all over the country.
The closing of these 23 firms were part of a 7-month mining audit which only 12 mining companies passed with 5 getting suspensions.
The basis for the termination was that all these mining firms had their operations near watersheds. This causes pollution of coastal waters and destruction of waters, among other violations, and these affects the water supply of Filipinos, especially around the area.
"You cannot, you must not, and you should not have any mining which endangers the water supply of the Filipino. No amount of money warrants the quality of life of the Filipino," Lopez explained to the media.
She was also annoyed during the media briefing when reporters were insistent on seeing the recommendations of the Mines and Geosciences Board (MGB), which possibly may have findings contradicting Lopez’ mining audit.
"I'm under no obligation to let you know what's happening. If the President asks me, I am under obligation to give it to him." Lopez reiterated to the media men. She also told them that she was quick to implement because MGB was “really slow” and that President Duterte hates slow paperwork.
Lopez was also addressed the issue of workers who will be affected by the closure of all the companies and said in an interview with DZMM: “On the jobs, give me a year and a half. Hahamunin ko sila. A green economy can create more jobs than mining, than they could ever imagine.”
She plans to bring all the budget for the environment and create a new and green economy, and will start preparations on February 16-18.
Lopez also added, “Para ang economy nila, hindi maging dependent sa mina o outside influence. Pera nila ‘yan, resources nila ‘yan. Let them live in the beauty of their place.”
During his speech at the 38th National Convention of Philippine Association of Water Districts in Davao City, President Duterte backed up the ruling of Environment Secretary Lopez and commended her prompt actions.
“She’s so passionate about, not about the mining laws but about the little men on the land tilling,” the President said.
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