Rally backs DENR tack on responsible mines
DAVAO CITY—At least 500 members of different environmental and militant groups trooped to the Caraga regional office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to express support for what some rally leaders said was the propeople and pro-environment thrust of the DENR under Environment Secretary Gina Lopez.
The rallyists also demanded that mining firms which violated local and national laws be punished.
Groups which sent delegates to the rally included the Caraga Watch, an environmental watchdog in the Caraga region, and the Nagkahiusang Gagmay’ng Minero (United Small Scale Miners).
They expressed support for a policy declared by Lopez to allow the operations of only mining companies that had been certified as responsible.
“You have to have the highest standards,” Lopez said earlier, referring to ISO 14001 certification as her measure of mining companies that heed safety and environment protocols.
Recently, she ordered an audit of mining companies in the country to measure their adherence to technical, social, and environmental standards. Lopez had warned that companies found
to have committed violations would face the consequences.
Alilo Ensomo, director of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau in Caraga, said in a memorandum report on the rally that he had talked with the rallyists and assured them the agency is doing its best to promote responsible mining, as Lopez had wanted.
Ensomo said the rally was peaceful. Allan Nawal, Inquirer Mindanao
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