The operation of six mining companies in Puerto Princesa and Zambales has been temporarily suspended, at least for a month, by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

The suspension, according to DENR secretary Gina Lopaz, is so that they will be subjected under an auditing process to verify if they pass the existing technical, social, and environmental standards of the agency.

Once it has been proven that they have been continuing their operations despite not having met the standards and that they have been receiving bribes from local officials, they will be given due punishment.

6 big mining companies suspended by DENR Sec. Gina Lopez
Photo by philnews.ph
However, Lopez has assured the residents who have been affected by the unlawful mining process that they will be given assistance.

Trainings on horticulture and animal husbandry are included in the livelihood assistance. These could be used once the place has been developed into an eco-tourism site.

“I want you to know that DENR is not only for regulation. What I want to do is not just to suspend but to stop the mining operations because many people are suffering from it,” explained Lopez.

Residents have been hoping that the current administration will be able to implement much better policies especially those that are relation to responsible mining so that the damages to the health of the residents and the environment shall be minimized, or get rid of. | ASCS - FNPH

Source: UNTV

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