DENR rejects calls to reconsider lifting of moratorium on mining, cites source of fund needed
Marje Pelayo • April 19, 2021 • 424
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has rejected calls from environmental groups for the agency to review its decision to lift the ban on mining.
In a virtual briefing on Monday (April 19), Environment Undersecretary Jonas Leones cited the country’s need for funds especially considering the current COVID-19 crisis.
The decision, stated in Executive Order 130, allows the government to enter into new mining agreements.
“Sa ngayon hindi natin pagtutuunan ng pansin ang ganyan dahil kailangan natin kasi, marami tayong mga problema ngayon sa ating bansa na kailangan natin ng pagkukuhanan ng pondo,” Leones said during Monday’s Laging Handa virtual press briefing.
The official said the mining industry is a significant source of funds in addressing COVID-19.
“At isa ito (mining) sa nakita natin, isa sa mga paraan na para tayo makaahon ng konti, para naman magamit natin mga pondong makukuha natin para din sa…like sa COVID-19 activities, pagbibigay ng ayuda sa mga mamamayan,” he added.
Currently, Leones said there are some 100 mining projects from which the government expects to gain P21 billion in revenues from excise taxes and royalty.
However, it will take up to five years before the government benefits from it.
Leones assured that the government is not just considering gaining from the sector but likewise ensuring a balance between environmental aspects and economic aspects.
MANILA, Philippines — The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) ruled out mining activity as the cause of the landslide that occurred in Brgy. Runruno, Quezon, Nueva Vizcaya on November 11 during the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses.
In a press release Thursday (November 26), MGB Regional Director Mario Ancheta, “the fatal landslide was triggered by the inclement weather conditions resulting in ground saturation and eventual landslide and not due to small scale mining activity as earlier reported.”
Geologists and technical personnel from MGB Region 2 were sent to conduct a site inspection at the landslide areas where ten individuals were killed, including a two-month old baby and leaving two others injured.
Ancheta added that residents were already recommended for relocation based on a geohazard assessment result conducted by the MGB on September 18, showing that Sitios Bit-ang, Balcony, Compound, and Kinalabasa are highly or critically susceptible to natural hazards.
“The result of the assessment was presented to the community including the residents of sitio Bit-ang, Compound, Balcony, and Kinalabasa,” Ancheta said.
After the incident, the official stressed that “evacuation of the illegal settlers within the landslide prone areas should be strictly implemented.” MNP / Raymund David
MANILA Philippines – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will conduct testing of water samples from all rivers across the country amid the ongoing outbreak of poliovirus.
The test is to determine the quality of and coliform content in the country’s bodies of water after water samples from the sewerage system in Tondo, Manila and Davao city tested positive of poliovirus.
According to DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu has ordered all its regional offices to submit the results as soon as possible.
“Hahanapin namin ang mga pipes na nagtatapon sa mga rivers para masiguro natin na hindi na madagdagan pa ang polusyon ng river (We will trace the pipes that discharge directly into the rivers to make sure that pollution level in our rivers will not escalate),” Antiporda said. – MNP (with details from Grace Casin)
MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) turned over on Tuesday (September 24) to the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR) a piece of deer head smuggled into the Philippines without the necessary import permit.
The BOC said the deer head was discovered inside a parcel declared as household goods and personal effects that arrived at the Manila International Container Port on July 12, 2019 from Guam.
The subject good was seized for violation of Sections 11 and 27 of Republic Act No. 9147 otherwise known as Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act, and Section 117 in relation to Section 1113 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.
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