Manuel V. Pangilinan (PHILEX Mining Corp.) stated that regulation of mining must be separated from environmental protection. These functions are currently performed by bureaus of Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
It is imperative that structures are updated, as there are two important agencies under the department, the Environmental Management Bureau, (EMB), and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, (MGB). Two agencies have contradictory functions: they must protect the environment and promote mining, Mr. Pangilinan stated in a television interview.
He said that the United States has a separate environmental protection agency from the mining regulators. This allows for a check and balance.
Following a nickel mine accident that contaminated the rivers of Davao Oriental, Mr. Pangilinan demanded better regulation of all mining companies, even small ones.
We must ensure that the regulators have better-educated staff and are well-funded. If the mining sector has to support this and fund the regulators then so be. We should support it. The more informed regulators, the more safeguards they adopt. He stated that this should be welcomed by the sector.
With the change in administration coming, Mr. Pangilinan expressed optimism but was still cautious about the industry’s future.
According to my knowledge, most of the candidates are open to a liberal view of mining. That’s great news. And if the new government views mining as a policy, that would be a huge development for the sector, he stated.
I don’t know when that will happen, but it could be on June 30. He added that “something always happens”, referring to the new governments’ takeover date.
Dec. 23: The government liedfThe four-year ban against open-pit mining was repealed by Regina L. Lopez (an anti-mining advocate), who had issued the order.
I’m not sure if the ban will be lifted. There is a new government ahead of us, and will this new government continue to enforce this policy? We don’t know, Mr. Pangilinan claimed.
Philex is currently developing the Silangan copper-gold mine in Surigao del Norte. However, it said that it will prefer sub-level caving to open-pit mining.
If we go back to open-pit methods, we will lose a lot time. He stated that we do not want the uncertainty and headaches ahead.
Mr. Pangilinan stated, “The mining industry must prove its sustainability as well as its benefactorial benefits.”fit to society, the economy.
Mining has been partly responsible for many unfortunate events like the Marcopper incident, 1996. This was one of the largest pollution events in human history. He also said that there are likely to be instances when pollutants are thrown to the oceans and rivers.
It’s easy to demonize mining, but the business must prove that it can be safely prosecuted. There are larger mines outside the Philippines and they do a good job protecting the environment. He added that we must also follow the correct practices to do the exact same. Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson