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Well planned

By: Robert B. Roque, Jr.

Former Environment Secretary Gina Lopez has genuine concern for our surroundings and the people affected by the atrocities committed by its abusers.

Lopez believes that the toxic metals generated by open pit mining will continue to pollute rivers, streams and adversely affect the lives of communities. Open pits also kill the economic potential of a region, biodiversity, and possibilities of ecotourism.

The former environment chief points out that mining is not a right but a privilege granted to operators under certain conditions. It is subject to the police power of the state to protect the common good and general welfare of our countrymen.

The Constitution states that the state shall promote social justice in all phases of national development. Still, the government allows open pit mining near rivers and streams, putting communities eternally in peril.

During her term, Lopez suspended the operation of 15 mining firms in the Caraga Region for various violations such as siltation of rivers, coasts, and destroying watersheds.

To the dismay of Lopez’s supporters who are likewise environmentalists, the suspended firms are now allowed to operate.

Roger de Dios, regional director of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, confirmed that the firms filed an appeal and motion for reconsideration and are allowed to operate for the meantime.

These are AAMPhil Natural Resources Exploration, Kromico Inc., Libjo Mining Corporation, Oriental Synergy Mining Corporation, Oriental Vision Mining Philippines Corporation, SinoSteel Philippines, H.Y. Mining Corporation and Wellex Mining Corporation in Dinagat Islands.

Likewise cleared are ADNAMA Mining Resources Corporation, Claver Mineral Development Corporation, Platinum Group Metals Corporation, and Hinatuan Mining Corporation; CTP Construction and Mining Corporation, Carrascal Nickel Corporation, Marcventures Mining and Development Corporation; and Century Peak Corporation.

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In spite of yearning for the much-needed confirmation in order to continually implement all her plans intended for the betterment of the environment, Lopez was rejected by the seemingly all-powerful Commission on Appointments (CA).

As Firing Line has seen time and again, when leadership changes, new sets of rules are applied and followed.

Former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Roy Cimatu, who replaced Lopez, appears to have no desire in following his predecessor’s footsteps as far as his appointment is concerned.

Obviously, Cimatu has an all-too different view on how to run his office while being determined to get the nod of CA.

And Cimatu’s plan proves excellent as he received his much-needed confirmation only last week.

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