DENR putting up interactive website for mining firms’ audit

Rhodina Villanueva - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is set to come out with a website where all audit findings concerning mining companies will be made public, its top official said.

“That website will be interactive. Everything will be made transparent. We’ll be doing, either big or small companies, DENR Secretary Gina Lopez said.

Apart from mining permits issued to companies, all the environmental compliance certificates will also be subjected to audit and review. We will not be selective,” she added.

Lopez also plans to put up her own blog to document and discuss the audit being done by the department, as well as other activities of the DENR.

She reiterated the DENR would not hesitate to shut down all mining operations that will be found to have violated environmental and health and safety laws and regulations.

“If you break the law, you face the consequences of breaking the law. Whatever the law says that’s what we should follow. If you break the law, there are penalties,” Lopez said.

So far, the DENR has suspended operations of 10 mining companies. The three which were recently suspended include the Bulacan-based Ore Asia Mining Development Corp., and Mt. Sinai Exploration Mining and Development Corp. and EMIR Mineral Resources Corp. both in Homonhon, Eastern Samar.

Ore Asia reportedly failed to secure an ISO 14001 certification.

On the other hand, Mt. Sinai, which mines chromite, caused siltation of the coastal waters and failed to practice engineered mining methods while the nickel-producing EMIR Minerals has also reportedly caused siltation of coastal waters.

The DENR intends to finish the audit of all 42 metallic mines within the month.

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