By: Marlo Joshua Brua, Intern
DAVAO CITY, Philippines─An official of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau here said that the closure order issued by Department of Environment and Natural Resources has no effect in Davao City.
“Outside of being the source of the supplies used in mining, there has been no impact of the closure of mining operations,” Noel Angeles, Mine Safety, Environment and Social Development Division officer in charge said.
“Only those who solely depend on mining, for example in Maco and the barangay there whose people are mostly employees of Apex Mines,” he said.
He, however, pointed out that more than 500 employees would lose their jobs in different parts of the region once the mining order will be implemented.
“The employment, that’s over 500 employees who will lose jobs, direct employees and indirect employees,” Angeles said.
In Surigao Del Sur, some 5,000 miners, tribal residents and students whose education were financed by mining companies in Cantilan and Carrascal protested against the DENR’s closure order.
However, support for Lopez crackdown on mines is amassing with more environment groups backing her on the suspension and closure of mines in watersheds.
On Friday, the Defend Patrimony Alliance and the Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE) announced it will hold a series of actions to defend Lopez’ campaign.
“We call on all environment defenders to support Environment Secretary Gina Lopez in her crusade against destructive big mining operations. The powerful large-scale mininglobby is attempting to undo Sec. Lopez’s closure and suspension of large-scale mining projects found to have caused massive pollution and human rights violations by blocking her confirmation as secretary,” said Clemente Bautista, national coordinator of Kalikasan PNE.
In a statement, the Defend Patrimony disputed what they called “the disinformation campaign by the large-scale mining lobby,” explaining how “immediate economic losses caused by the mine closure are negligible while long-term economic, social, and environmental impacts over the past two decades of mining under the current policy regime have been of grave consequence.”
The group cited the MGB data showing the industry generated a minerals gross production value of P1.51 trillion from 1997 to 2015, of which only P199.03 billion or just 13.5% benefited to the Philippine economy in the form of taxes, royalties and fees.(davaotoday.com)