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Semirara mining operation: Governor disgusted over lifting of suspension

Jennifer P. Rendon (The Freeman) - September 22, 2015 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines – It would be business as usual for the Semirara Mining and Power Corporation, after the Department of Energy lifted the suspension order against the operations of the company of DMCI Holdings Inc.

But Antique Governor Rhodora Cadiao did not share the delight of DMCI and SMPC workers on this “good development,” saying she was disgusted and disappointed instead. “It looks like we have no say on the issue considering that the miners who died were Antiquenos and we own the land,” she said.

Cadiao said the DOE and even the DMCI have not informed the provincial government about the lifting of the suspension order. “I wanted to know what was the reason for such?” she asked.

The governor only learned about the lifting of the suspension from the media, and she reacted by saying that the national government should have accorded the provincial government of respect considering that the latter was also part of the investigation on the landslide disaster on July 17 where nine miners died.

“We (provincial government) would like to ensure that Semirara (MPC) has complied with our demand on compliance of their social responsibility,” she added.

Cadiao also scored the some members of the Provincial Board for not approving her request to close down the open mining pit where the incident happened.

The DOE, in a letter dated last September 17 and signed by officer-in-charge Secretary Zenaida Monsada, stated that Semirara “substantially complied with the conditions in the DOE letter to DMCI dated September 1 resulting in a marked improvement in the level of safety in its mining operations.”

SMPC is the country’s biggest coal producer, is engaged in exploration, development and mining of coal resources in Semirara Island. It operates in the coal and power segments, and has seven wholly owned subsidiaries, though which it conducts various operations.

ACIRC ANTIQUENOS BUT ANTIQUE GOVERNOR RHODORA CADIAO CADIAO DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY HOLDINGS INC PROVINCIAL BOARD SECRETARY ZENAIDA MONSADA SEMIRARA SEMIRARA ISLAND SEMIRARA MINING AND POWER CORPORATION
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