Friday, February 3, 2017

Gina Lopez and DENR to Shut Down Mining Firms in Philippines

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Mining companies should pull off an Ellis Wyatt on Gina Lopez. 

"I am leaving it as I found it. Take over. It's yours."

What happened, Pilipinas?! Ganito na ka kalbo ang mga kabundukan natin and it only took a new DENR Secretary to reveal the truth behind our balding mountains.

"Now I know why there is fighting in Mindanao;" ; there are many mining companies in Mindanao, says Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Gina Lopez.

There are "22 mining companies are closed, 5 suspended , 2 differed, final decision is the President" reports Lopez. She earlier stressed the need for convergence and human development in the priority areas during a DENR Expanded Excom in Rizal province.

President Rodrigo Duterte throws weight behind Gina Lopez's closure of 21 mines. The President says he has never asked the Environment Secretary to 'slow down' with the DENR's mining audit. There's no slowing down! I hope many will fully back the goal to eliminate illegal mining in the country.

Most of these mining companies were closed on grounds of destroying watersheds, while 6 others were suspended for violation of environment laws. The Secretary remarked that those who benefit from the mining operations are only the businessmen and not the residents.

Gina Lopez is an amazing embodiment of true public service w/o being partisan. I think she is the few good appointees of the President. I hope this is true-to-goodness "change." We admire her for the passion in her work. Setting aside political differences makes a difference when you start working for the benefit of the people and environment.

Our utmost respect goes to her for rejecting the plans of Viacom for environmentally damaging Coron, Palawan with the Viacom Nickelodeon Spongebob Squarepants underwater theme park. "..You can't kill the corals.For a theme park? No, no way man." says Lopez. She said Investors are welcome, but let us not over-commercialize Palawan. Let's give a big hand to the DENR Minister for turning down a tourism project which would cause major ecosystem destruction . However, Palawan officials say there has been no application's received, but the developer says theme park is a go. Huh?

Last January, Lopez also cancelled the environmental clearance to reclaim 635 hectares of coastal waters along Paranaque-Las Pinas-Bacoor corridor. The Secretary buried Ramon Ang's Manila Bay reclamation project, while San Miguel Corporation (SMC) clarified it has no participation in the proposed reclamation plan that was scuttled by the DENR.

Please also save the trees along Commonwealth Avenue of Quezon City that will be affected in the construction of MRT 7. Only 623 will be transplanted while 1,215 will be cut down to make way for the project.

There's also the pending Quezon City government appeal to reconsider her plan to shut down the Payatas sanitary landfill. I hope she doesn't give in since the area is not healthy for living conditions.

She should also work with the Department of Health to test if the reported health problems of the residents in Limay, Bataan were caused by the ash fall or spill from a byproduct storage facility being used by SMC subsidiaries in the coal plant.

Kudos to to the DENR Secretary for being true to her mandate of protecting our environment. Do you have a feeling that she will someday run for a high position in the government and win?

Meanwhile, critics want her probed on an anomalous deal. But she denies the allegations on the mentioned Air Quality Monitoring equipment. She sees a hidden agenda behind the graft complaint and says there are no strides without enemies. She suspects that the filing of the complaint versus her with the Ombudsman has something to do with the publication of DENR's mining audit.

"Ansabe ni Gina Lopez sa mga pinasarang minahan na umaapela pa? 
Eh di..... NEVER MINE!" 

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