MANILA, Philippines – Newly-installed Environment Secretary Gina Lopez yesterday issued her first memorandum order which covers the extensive audit of all mines as well as the moratorium on new mining projects.
Based on memorandum 2016-01, all operating and suspended mines will be subject to an audit to determine the adequacy and efficiency of the environmental protection measures, identify gaps in protection measures and determine appropriate penalties in case of violations.
The moratorium, on the other hand, shall cover the acceptance, processing and approval of applications and projects for all metallic and non-metallic minerals.
Mining firms were given one month to comply with the order. Failure to do so will result in the suspension of operations.
The new administration remains firm in their stand to suspend mining firms that fail to secure international certification on safety standards in a bid to put an end to irresponsible mining in the Philippines.
The audit will be undertaken in accordance with the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 and Department Administrative Order 2015-07 on securing the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001 certification.
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