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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Gina Lopez: The Philippine Government's Ultimate Environmental Crusader


Wazzup Pilipinas!

"After two decades as a yoga missionary, Environment Secretary Regina Lopez is unleashing her inner rage on the mining industry while aiming for Bhutan-style gross national happiness." -Inquirer.net

They said no to Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Perfecto Yasay but Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Gina Lopez's Commission on Appointments (CA) confirmation hearing was pushed back to May 3, 2017.

Can we clone the political will, passions and genuine intentions of Lopez? There has been no environment Secretary in the past has ever stood against giant mines as Lopez does. She deserves the appointment because she clearly has the heart in saving our environment.

President Rodrigo Duterte hopes for a "happy compromise" on mining but more on the side of "public interest." He says Gina Lopez "has a good case." He asks the CA to listen to her decision to shut down mining firms. "You cannot ignore the cries of Gina Lopez. Allow Gina to present her case."

Mining is destroying the Southeast Asian archipelago’s ecosystem, and that the natural resources on offer can be used in much more sustainable ways.

If you must know, Caraga is the mining capital of the Philippines, yet the poorest region in the country.How come? Because only the mining corporation benefits from the business and leaves the local community impoverished.

As also mentioned by DENR Sec. Gina Lopez during a press conference in Butuan City, 95% from what has been invested and earned in Dinagat/Surigao areas goes out of the local economy. The department thus plans to adapt an area development approach where the income goes around the local economy.

Last month, Lopez ordered to close 23 mining operations and suspend five others following a months-long audit. She also canceled 75 mining contracts. Not only are many harming the watersheds, they are also killing the mountains.

“Not everyone has the guts and the wherewithal to stand on big business’s toes. Right now I have that platform.”

No sacred cows? Opponents and critics grilled Lopez on conflict of interest. Local executives in Caraga mining areas joined the opposition.

When she told San Juan Rep. Ronaldo Zamora, whose brother is into mining, to tell him he has totally killed the mountain, now that was kick-ass!

Lopez said this during the CA committee on environment and natural resources hearing, where Zamora is an ex-officio member.

"Sorry, Mr. Chairman, but that's your mine," Lopez said as she made a presentation before the CA panel.

Lopez was referring to Hinatuan Mining Corp., the operations of which she ordered closed last month.

Hinatuan was earlier told that its operation has "impaired the functions of the watershed in the area," according to a copy of the closure order.

Zamora corrected Lopez and said: "My brother's mine."

Lopez was giving a quite passionate presentation about the DENR's plan for a Green Economy but people in the Senate are just like bored and sleepy. She remains unfazed amid growing oppositions. Just because Lopez's methods are more modern and relaxed, it doesn't mean she doesn't have what it takes to save the Philippines' natural resources. She is savage for a conserved environment in a humane world!

Lopez may be the epitome of ignorance, self-contradiction, and stupidity with what she is saying right now. She may not know all of the technicalities of mining, but she does know that the environment must be saved.

Lopez's appointment has 23 oppositors, while 12 others filed oppositions against the closure order of mining operations.

If Lopez survives as environment secretary and gets to serve her full six-year term, she has much bigger plans for remodeling the Philippine economy.

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