THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) announced that it will be closing down 23 mining operations in the country, 14 of which are in the Caraga Region.
In a press conference Thursday, February 2, Environment Secretary Gina Lopez said the DENR will be closing 14 mining companies in the Caraga Region, seven of them from the Island province of Dinagat, four from Surigao del Norte, and three from Surigao del Sur.
READ: DENR to shut down 21 mining firms
The mining companies to be closed in Dinagat Island are AAMPHIL Natural Resources Exploration, Oriental Synergy Mining Corporation, Sinosteel Philippines, HY Mining Corporation, Kromico Incorporated, Oriental Vision Mining Philippines Corporation, Wellex Mining Corporation and Libjo Mining Corporation.
In Surigao del Norte, those to be closed are Hinatuan Mining Corporation in Hinatuan Island, Tagana-an town, Adnama Hinatuan Mining Corporation in Urbiztondo village, Claver, Claver Mineral Development Corporation in Cagdianao village, Platinum Development Corporation in Cagdianao village, Claver town.
And in Surigao del Sur, CTP Construction and Mining Corporation and Carrascal Nickel Corporation both located in the town of Carrascal and the Marcventures Mining and Development Corporation operating in the watershed area in the town of Cantilan are about to be closed.
Undersecretary Art Valdez of the Anti-environmental Crime Task Force said the DENR will be more vigilant in imposing the closure orders.
“We will have to pour in more logistics into the areas where these to be closed mining operations are located to closely monitor and for them to abide to the closure and then rehabilitation. The closure order also is the time that the rehabilitation fund will be released, a certain percentage has been set aside with the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB),” said Valdez.
Valdez also added that funds would also be used for the sustainable area development program, which will hopefully provide livelihood of the people who used to work in the closed mining firm.
Emma Hotchkiss, president CCMCL Baywatch Foundation, a local coalition of different environmental and civic-society groups who are against mining in the towns of Cantilan, Carrascal, Madrid, Carmen and Lanuza (CCMCL), revealed the plans for social development and livelihood.
“The next step will be the Sustainable Integrated Areas Development (SIAD) that will be funded by DENR, Department of Agrarian Reform and the Department of Agriculture. We are now in discussions on the next plan in coming up with the projects under SIAD that is a means for social development and livelihood for those who used to work in the mining industry,” said Hotchkiss who has just been assigned as the new area manager for SIAD.
Hotchkiss said they will have another meeting with the mayors and Civil Society Organizations for the implementation of certain projects.