ONE of Cebu’s large-scale mining firms yesterday announced its support to the decision of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to appoint environmental advocate Gina Lopez as head of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
In a press conference, officials of Apo-Cemex Plant in the City of Naga, Cebu vowed to support the incoming DENR secretary particularly in promoting responsible mining in the country.
Chito Maniago, director of Cemex Philippines Foundation, said that Lopez’s appointment is a “breath of fresh air” especially for mining companies that practice responsible mining. Maniago said he had a chance to work with Lopez in ABS-CBN’s Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, and he had witnessed the dedication of Lopez on her advocacies for the protection of environment.
“We will definitely collaborate and work with her closely. We will support her vision on responsible mining and of course, we are ready to listen,” said Maniago.
Gery Rota, Apo Cement Corp. plant director, said that large-scale mining firms like Cemex should not be afraid of Lopez’s appointment as long as they are transparent with their mining activities and methods. He hopes that with Lopez’s leadership, responsible mining can finally be implemented.
In a separate interview, Al Emil Berador, chief geologist of the DENR 7’s Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), said that most large-scale mining firms are compliant with mining laws and promoting environmental policies; it is the small-scale miners that are causing problems. Berador said that through the help of the local government units, the MGB is slowly stopping the threat of small-scale mining operations in Central Visayas.
At present, Lopez serves as head of ABS-CBN’s Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation and the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission. She has been campaigning against coal mining operations and the use of fossil fuel as energy source. / Sunstar Cebu