Palace: Closure of Cordillera small-scale mining like Boracay rehab
“It’s very similar to what happened to Boracay.”
Malacañang on Tuesday likened the closure of small-scale mining operations in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) to the rehabilitation of Boracay.
“So tinanggap naman po ng paghamon ng administrasyon itong nangyari sa Itogon. Mabuti na lang po mayroon tayong model and that is Boracay. So alam na po ng mga ahensya ng gobyerno ang gagawin. It’s very similar to what happened to Boracay,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press briefing.
Roque added that the closure of the small-scale mining operations is “akin to rehabilitating the mined out areas of Cordillera” for the environment to recover as the landslide “is actually a result of environmental degradation.”
With the rehabilitation, according to Roque, the government should find balance in ensuring that the environment is protected and the right livelihood is provided.
He also assured that the miners who are expecting to lose their jobs due to the closure of the mines will be given assistance that includes a cash for work program.
“Right now, we’re committed to assist everyone na nawalan ng trabaho. In fact, they are at play already. They are discharging their obligations. All they need are the names [of the miners] and automatically be given 15 months of cash for work,” he said.
Roque said the government is also looking into giving the miners cash for work as provided by the Department of Social Work and Development (DSWD).
“Ang sabi lang ng DSWD, ang gusto niya ang gagawin ng mga babayaran ng cash for work ay magtatanim ng gulay o kaya magtatanim ng puno na nakaka-absorb ng tubig. ‘Yun ‘yung preference,” he said.
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu on Monday ordered the suspension of small-scale mining activities in the Cordillera following a landslide in the region that killed dozens of people. /muf
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