Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Atienza vs Zambales gov

A RIFT between Environment Secretary Lito Atienza and Zambales Gov. Amor Deloso is brewing after the latter filed a case questioning the authority of Atienza to implement a memorandum on the issuance of mineral ore export permit.

Atienza maintained that he issued Memorandum Order 2008-04 in November 2008 to reaffirm his commitment to responsible mining and sustainable development.

Deloso ahs questioned the order before the Court of Appeals.

Atienza said he welcomed the governor’s move so that all issues will be cleared in the proper forum.

“Governor Deloso’s move to question our actions pertaining to the MOEP is welcome since this would give us an opportunity to make our position on the issue clearer and enlighten all sectors, particularly the public at large. Our overriding concern is to make sure that smuggling of mineral resources is addressed effectively. We would like to make sure that each and every mining company, big or small, understands the need to be transparent in their operations,” Atienza said.

Deloso claimed that Atienza’s memorandum in “unconstitutional” since it was not contained in the Philippine Mining Act that regulates the mining industry.

He said that because of the MOEP order, the income of the Zambales government from mining operations dropped.

But Atienza said that his office is empowered by the Constitution with the authority to protect the environment and natural resources.

--By Joel dela Torre – People’s Journal

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