Palace backs Lopez cancellation of 75 mine contracts
Malacañang supported Wednesday the move of environment Secretary Regina “Gina” Lopez who cancelled 75 mining contracts in her intense campaign against illegal mining in the country.
“The cancellation of 75 mineral production sharing agreements (MPSAs) by Secretary Regina Lopez is consistent with Republic Act 7942 that mining applications are closed to proclaimed watershed forest reserves,” Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement.
RA 7942 or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 is an act instituting a new system of mineral resources exploration, development, utilization, and conservation.
Despite expressing their support, Abella said the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) should establish that due process was followed.
“However, as agreed upon in the last Cabinet meeting, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is to establish that it has gone through due process before enforcing the applicable laws, rules, or regulations,” he said.
On Tuesday, Lopez cancelled production sharing agreements or MPSAs in watershed zones in the country, which are still in the exploration stage.
“In this country, all open-pit mining operations are being done in a watershed. This should never be allowed,” she said. CDG
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