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2月20日のまにら新聞から

Multi-stakeholder team to review mining order closure to meet Monday

[ 610 words|2017.2.20|英字 (English) ]

A multi-stakeholder team of the Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) that was formed to review existing mining operations that were ordered shut down or suspended by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will hold its first meeting on Monday, February 20.

This as Environment Secretary Gina Lopez said the Philippines is open to investors who care about the environment.

Foreign investors who put premium on local communities and the environment are "welcome to invest" in the country, she said, reacting to the concerns from the international and local business communities on her decision to order the closure of 23 mining projects.

Lopez said foreign investors should not be worried if their businesses do not cause environmental degradation and suffering in areas they operate.

"If they invest and rape the country, I prefer that they go away," she said.

Meanwhile, the Department of Finance said in a statement that the organizational meeting to be held on Monday is a result of MICC Resolution No. 6, which had resolved to create “a multi-stakeholder team” to “review existing mining operations in consultation with local government units (LGUs), which review shall be based on the guidelines and parameters set forth in the specific mining contract and in other pertinent laws, taking into account the valid exercise of the State’s police power to serve the common good of the poor.”

Resolution No. 6 was approved by the MICC in its Feb. 9 meeting.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, who co-chairs the MICC, said the team is essentially a “technical working group” that will review the operations of the mine sites affected by the DENR order.

"The technical working group, (that is) the one going to do the reviews. That was part of the board resolution, so they’re going to implement it on Monday. They will decide what to do, the technical working group," Dominguez said.

The multi-stakeholder review team shall also include representatives from relevant government agencies and institutions.

DOF saidn invitations were sent to the co-chairpersons of the MICC-- Dominguez and Lopez, along with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Director General Ernesto Pernia of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

Also invited to the meeting are Secretaries Ramon Lopez of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Ismael Sueno of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Benjamin Diokno of Budget and Management (DBM), Alfonso Cusi of Energy (DOE), Emmanuel Pinol of Agriculture (DA), Rafael Mariano of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Vitaliano Aguirre III of Justice (DOJ), Silvestre Bello III of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and Judy Taguiwalo of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr., Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, Solicitor General Jose Calida, Undersecretary Ferdinand Cui Jr. of the Presidential Management Staff (PMS), Chairperson Leonor Oralde-Quintayo of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, Executive Director Sandra Paredes of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) are also invited to the meeting.

Earlier, the MICC affirmed the primacy of both “procedural and substantive” due process in the final resolution of DENR’s series of actions on existing mineral production sharing agreements (MPSAs).

“As discussed during the MICC meeting last week, there is a need to observe due process. Due process is both substantive and procedural. Substantive due process means that there are valid grounds in law to support the cancellation. Procedural due process means the procedure for cancellation as provided for in the contract or under relevant laws were followed,” said DOF Undersecretary Bayani Agabin, who heads the Department’s Legal Services Group.

MICC Resolution No. 6 stressed that both the DENR and the Council “recognize the requirements of due process in the applicable mining laws, rules and regulations.” DMS