MANILA, Philippines – Companies affected by the environment department’s cancellation of mining projects would be given due process and are free to turn to the courts for legal remedies, Malacañang said yesterday.
Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella gave the assurance to companies which have been targets of Environment Secretary Regina Lopez’s crackdown on mining operations in watersheds. On Tuesday, Lopez announced the cancellation of 75 mining contracts or mineral production sharing agreements (MPSA) for posing threats to watersheds and to overall water supply.
“The cancellation of 75 mineral production sharing agreements by Secretary Regina Lopez is consistent with Republic Act 7942 that mining applications are closed to proclaimed watershed forest reserves,” Abella said in a statement.
“However, as agreed upon in the last Cabinet meeting, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is to establish that it has gone through due process before enforcing the applicable laws, rules or regulations,” he added.
Abella said the DENR is set to issue a show cause order to concerned mining firms, which would be given seven days to reply. Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said mining firms may appeal the DENR’s decision before the Office of the President.
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