"'Mining activities going hand in hand with caring for the environment is now among the programs of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. This is also the direction that the DENR has taken,' the DENR chief said."
For the local DENR this means praising Lafayette for its contribution to this "new and enlightened" government direction on mining the last time the mine firm made a show of planting seedlings in Rapu-Rapu by partnering with a local bogus green group. Lafayette executives thought they shot the proverbial two birds with this one project: (1) paint themselves a shade greener and looking supportive of government policies and (2) cast doubt on the cohesiveness and integrity of the local community's stand against large-scale mining in their place. Succeeding events, however, proved that one was an exercise in futility. But wait... there's more! To add further governmental collusion to the farce, the local PIA partnered with the mine firm in disseminating its press release.
I'd like to think I'm only anti-Lafayette, not anti-mining per se, but with miners and government like this... whew! And apparently I'm not the only one thinking the same thing. Check out what Bishop Evangelista of Boac, Marinduque just recently said.
Mutual support sought from miners to aid environment
Provincial News, Manila Bulletin
Sunday, January 13, 2008
President Arroyo has directed the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to bolster initiatives that will ensure that mining operators do their part in protecting the environment.
"The government is supporting the growth and development of the mining industry. The industry in turn must do its part for the environment," she said.
"I have ordered the DENR to strengthen measures to ensure that mining operations are socially, economically and environmentally sustainable, with broad community and political support," she added.
An association of quarry operators in the Western Visayas has thrown its support to the government’s greening program in a bid to show that mining operations and caring for the environment go hand in hand in Iloilo .
"I am pleased that Iloilo quarry operators are working with the government through DENR to establish a five-hectare forest plantation in Dingle, Iloilo . This is a very good step in the right direction for the mining industry," the President said.
Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Lito Atienza said the gesture of the Iloilo Quarry Permittees Association, Inc. (IQPAI) bolsters the government efforts to create a strong mining industry while, at the same time, protecting and preserving the environment.
"Mining activities going hand in hand with caring for the environment is now among the programs of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. This is also the direction that the DENR has taken," the DENR chief said.
The IQPAI is composed of 48 members who are involved in sand-and-gravel and other small-scale mining in Iloilo province. It recently signed a memorandum of agreement with the DENR in response to the Department’s call for all sectors of the society to help strengthen the government’s greening efforts throughout the country through President Arroyo’s Green Philippines Program (GPP).
Under the agreement, IQPAI has committed to establish a five-hectare forest plantation within the 854-hectare Bulabog-Putian National Park in Dingle, Iloilo to help in the restoration and rehabilitation of the protected area.
IQPAI has also agreed to provide the funds needed for labour, materials, maintenance and other expenses for the project. The funds will be drawn from the mine rehabilitation cash fund of the association.
IQPAI president Joebert A. Anares said the association would expand the forest plantation by five hectares per year in the next five years until it reaches the total of 25 hectares of forest area developed within the national park.
Anares also said that the association’s Mine Rehabilitation Fund Committee ensures that the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Plan (EPEP) of each of their projects is properly implemented.
Under the revitalized mining industry, the DENR strictly requires every mining company to implement extensive environmental programs even during the pre-feasibility phase of operations to ensure the protection of the environment and biodiversity.