Mine workers protest Lopez confirmation | Inquirer News

Mine workers protest Lopez confirmation

/ 06:17 PM March 01, 2017

A mining group opposed the confirmation for Department of Environment Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Gina Lopez on Wednesday, following her controversial order to close 23 mines and suspend five others.

Alyansa Tuloy Mina Mindanao (ATUMM), a coalition of mine workers, families and communities said that they are observing the proper procedure of mining and protecting the environment, health and the welfare of the people.

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The Commission on Appointments’ committee on environment and natural resources has set the confirmation hearing for Lopez on March 1.

“Ang madalian at walang habas na pagpapasara sa mga minahan ay taliwas sa mandato ng isang public servant na isaalang-alang ang aming kabuhayan. Ito ba ang tunay na gawain ng isang public servant na nagmamalasakit sa kanyang bayan?” the group asked.

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(The hasty and reckless closing of mines is opposite to the mandate of a public servant who would take our livelihood into consideration. Is this an act of a true public servant who cares for the country?)

“Ang pagkaitan kami ng kabuhayan ay hindi makatao, kami ay mga disenteng tao na may mga disenteng ikinabubuhay,” it added.

(To deny us our livelihood is inhuman, we are decent people with decent livelihood.)

Lopez on February 2 ordered the closure of 23 mines and the suspension of five others for allegedly damaging watersheds and for siltation of coastal waters and farmlands.

READ: DENR shuts down 23 mining areas

On February 14, she ordered the cancellation of 75 mineral production sharing agreements (MPSA) in watershed zones.

ATUMM expressed that its members, their families and communities have been experiencing tremendous difficulty, and said that removing their livelihood is like excluding their will to live.

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It also called on the government to continue responsible mining and to retain their means of living.

“Ituloy ang responsableng pagmimina para sa karapatan naming mamuhay ng marangal (Continue responsible mining for our right to live honorably),” the group said. JE

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TAGS: DENR, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Gina Lopez, Mine, miner, Mining
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