Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Monday, September 01, 2008

Meeting in October to promote responsible mining in Zambales

By. Jonathan Mayuga – Business Mirror

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Environmental Management Bureau in Region 3 will conduct a summit next month to promote responsible mining in the province of Zambales.

DENR Region 3 executive director Regidor de Leon said the two-day event, which will be held on the first week of October, will gather several stakeholders in mining to come up with a win-win solution to the various problems the beset the industry.

The summit, he said, will tackle issues such as the processing of and compliance with environmental clearance certificates, issuance of licenses and permit pertinent to mining activities and corporate social responsibility.

The province of Zambales is a problematic area when it comes to mining, with small companies committing gross violation of environmental laws because of the failure of local government units (LGUs) to regulate their activities.

Environment Secretary Lito Atienza had already warned Zambales’ local officials to shape up or face the possibility of mining moratorium.

After receiving numerous complaints that small mining companies are rampantly violating permits and licenses issued by LGUs, Atienza threatened to cancel all environmental clearance certificates to stop small mining activities in the province until such time that the mining companies learn to practice responsible mining.

De Leon said expected to participate in the summit are local government executives from the various local government units in the province and representatives from several sectors, including nongovernmental organizations, people’s organizations, environmental groups, fisherfolk groups and indigenous peoples who will have the chance to meet with some of the company executives of big and small mining companies that currently engage in mining activities in the province.

“This is in line with the government’s thrust to promote responsible mining in the Philippines,” he said.

He said he expects at least a thousand people will participate in the mining summit.

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