MGB-CAR upbeat on DENR mine audit

THE MINES and Geosciences Bureau - Cordillera (MGB-CAR) is confident that no mining company in the region will be closed by Environment Secretary Gina Lopez.

MGB-CAR regional director Faye Apil in a press briefing said she believes none of the large scale mining firms operating in the province of Benguet will be closed down following the rigid audit ordered by the new DENR Secretary on all the mining companies nationwide.

Apil said a team from the DENR and MGB central office finished the audit on the three large mining companies in Benguet namely Philex Mining Corporation - Padcal operations in Tuba, the Benguet Corporation in Itogon and the Lepanto Consolidated Mining Corporation in Mankayan.

"We are hoping they will pass the audit since they have been compliant with all the necessary certifications in their operations," said Apil.

The Chamber of Mines of the Philippines also shared Apil's optimism. Atty. Ronald Recidoro, the group's Vice President for Legal and Policy, said the three mining companies in Benguet are International Organization for Standardization 14001 or the Environment Management System (EMS) standard- certified.

Recidiro informed even during the time of the DENR Secretary Ramon Paje, there have been strict regulations implemented with regards to making sure the mining operations and processes are compliant to environmental safety and management standards.

He added that even before audit was announced, we were already subjected to numerous inspection and regulations by the MGB.

Since Lopez ordered the mine audit, at least 10 mining companies all over the country have been shut down for violating environmental safety standards. (Redjie Melvic Cawis/PIA-CAR)

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