Villar calls for careful study on lifting of open-pit mines ban
Senator Cynthia Villar has called for a careful study on proposals to lift the nationwide ban on open-pit mining, as she scored the continued operations of illegal miners and loggers, who she blamed for the destruction of the country’s environment.
“Alam mo, itong problem natin ng mining is not about those companies na legitimate. Ang problema natin kaya na-destroy ang environment natin eh yung illegal mining at illegal logging. Oh, ini-stop ba nila ‘yun? (You know, our problem is not about those companies that are legitimate. Our environment was destroyed because of illegal mining and illegal logging. Oh, did they stop that?),” pointed out Villar during the weekly “Kapihan sa Manila Bay”.
“Dami-dami nun sa Mindanao wala na-stop eh. Galit na galit sila sa mga companies but yung illegal miners are they getting permits? (There are a lot of illegal miners in Mindanao, they were not stopped. They are angry at these companies, but how about the illegal miners, are they getting permits?),” Villar, chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, also said.
The ban was imposed by former Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Gina Lopez before she was rejected by the Commission of Appointments (CA).
The Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) had asked current DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu to consider the lifting of the ban.
“It’s subject to study. Pag-usapan natin ng maayos kasi pag nagkamali tayo dyan patay ang mining industry ‘di ba. Konti na nga lang .35 to 1 percent papatayin mo pa. (Let’s talk about it properly because if we make a mistake here, the mining industry will die. It’s just .35 to 1 percent of our industry; we should not let it die.),” Villar noted, when asked if she is in favor of the lifting of the open-pit mining ban.
Villar cited the disadvantages of mining especially in agriculture but also suggested that the government should look into efficient and modernized mining systems and techniques. kga
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