MANILA—A leader of the House of Representatives on Friday backed the decision of Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Gina Lopez to shut down 23 mining firms and the suspension of five more.
In a statement, House natural resources committee chair and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate also called for the immediate enforcement of the said DENR order and the permanent closure of companies that caused massive damage to the environment and people’s livelihood.
“All the concerned companies should now also be ordered to pay for the damages and compensation for those affected by their destructive operations and for the rehabilitation of the areas,” Zarate said.
The progressive solon suggested the five suspended mines to be constantly monitored so they strictly comply with environmental laws.
“Massive environmental destruction can be stopped or at least drastically minimized by overhauling environmental and mining laws through the junking of the Mining Act of 1995. Now is the time to replace the current mining regime with a new one, like House Bill 2715 or the People’s Mining Bill now being deliberated in Congress,” he said.