Environment Secretary Regina Lopez, in a press briefing in Malacañan on Feb. 9, 2017, says her agency is gearing towards the establishment of "E3 zone" (ecological, economical, and educational) programs in areas where mining firms will be closed.
King Rodriguez/Presidential Photo
DENR cancels 75 MPSAs in watersheds
Louise Maureen Simeon (philstar.com) - February 14, 2017 - 6:07pm
MANILA, Philippines — After closing and suspending 28 firms, Environment Secretary Gina Lopez continues her rampage against the mining industry as she ordered the cancellation of 75 mineral production sharing agreements (MPSA) of sites that are within watershed areas.
 
In a briefing Tuesday, Lopez announced that she is revoking 37 MPSAs in Mindanao, 27 in Luzon and 11 in the Visayas which are either under exploratory stages or for possible developments.
 
"They were given MPSAs but after evaluation, we want to cancel it. Their MPSAs were given before my time and they are in watershed areas, how can I say yes? We can never benefit from those," Lopez said.
 
An MPSA is an agreement wherein the government shares in the production of the contractor, whether in kind or in value, as the owner of the minerals, and the contractor gets the rest. In return, the contractor provides the necessary financing, technology, management and personnel for the mining project.
 
Aside from the 75 MPSAs, the DENR will also revoke the contracts of the 23 firms that have been ordered for closure last week.
 
All involved companies will be given seven days to answer the show cause orders which the DENR is set to release Wednesday.
 
While initial investments have already been made in the affected MPSAs, Lopez maintained that she is not wary about possible jeopardy in terms of investments and loss of jobs.
 
"It’s the duty of the government to look after the people. We cannot say that their (investors) money is more important than the lives of the people," Lopez said.
 
"If they wanna invest here and rape the country, then I prefer them to go away. I’d prefer them to just go somewhere else, not here. We only want investments that will benefit us," she added.

Affront to good governance?

Among the big MPSAs ordered for cancellation include the subsidiary of Pangilinan-led Philex Mining Corp, Silangan Mindanao Mining Co. Inc., and its other MPSAs in Surigao, Zamboanga, and Negros, as well as TVI Resources Development Phils. and Kingking Mining Corp. of Benguet Corp.
 
"DENR approved 37 MPSAs to do open pit mining in Mindanao. If mining is so good and done so well then why the poorest areas are there?" Lopez said.
 
In Davao region, MPSAs to be canceled are Alsons Development and Investment Co. Inc., King Eagle Exploration and Mining Corp., Dabawenyo Minerals Corp., Phil. Youbang Mining International Corp., Sinophil Mining and Trading Corp., Core Mining Corp., Ore-East Mining Co. Inc. and Napnapan Mineral Resources Inc.
 
Furthermore, DENR will also revoke the contracts of Bright Green Resources Corp., Pacific Nickel Phils Inc., Consolidated Ores. Phils. Inc., Phigold Metallic Ore Inc., East Coast Mineral Resources Co. Inc., Kepha Mining Exploration Co., North Dinagat Mineral Resources Corp. and Rosario Consolidated Mining Co.—all of which are located in Surigao.
 
In Zamboanga, projects on the verge of cancellation include Siennalyn Gold Mining Corp., Solid North Mineral Corp., Atro Mining-Vitali Inc., 168 Ferrum Pacific Mining Corp., Geotechniques and Mines Inc., Roldan Dalman, Peng Cheng Metallic Resources Corp., Maharlika Dragon Mining Corp. and Czarstone Mining Corp.
 
Also to be given show cause orders are Vulcan Industrial and Mining Corp. and Selenga Mining Corp. in Negros Occidental; Crescent Mining and Development Corp., Itogon Suyoc Resources Inc. and Macawiwili Gold Mining and Development Company Inc. in Benguet; and Asia Alstron Mining and Development Corp. and Phil Alstron Mining Corp. in Agusan del Norte.
 
In Zambales, up for cancellation are Shangfil Mining and Trading Corp., San Juanico Resources Corp., Mineral Treasures Mining Corp., Mina Tierra Gracia Inc. and Westchinamin Corp.
 
To be canceled in Palawan are the two MPSAs of Macroasia Corp., Central Palawan Mining and Industrial Corp., Palawan Star Mining Ventures Inc., Pyramid Hill Mining and Industrial Corp. and Lebach Mining Corp.
 
Lopez will also revoke the contracts of Jabel Corp. in Abra, Egerton Gold Philippines Inc. in Batangas, Industries Development Corp. in Aurora, Plethora Mineral Corp. in Leyte and Pio Castillo in Cebu.
 
Other MPSAs for cancellation are GRCO Isulan Mining Corp., South Davao Development Co. Inc., Hard Rock Mineral Trading Inc., Alumina Mining Philippines Inc., Bauxite Resources Inc., Nickelace Inc., United Philippines and China Mining Corp.
 
Also to be canceled are Aglubang Mining Corp. and Alagag Mining Corp. in Mindoro; Altai Philippines Mining Corp. in Romblon; Indophil Resources Phils Inc. in Camarines Norte; and Parvisgold Inc. in Capiz.
 
Among the 23 firms covered by the earlier closure order are Benguet Corp. Nickel Mines, Zambales Diversified Metals Corp., LNL Archipelago Minerals, Eramen Minerals Inc., AAMPhil Natural Resources Exploration & Development Corp., Krominco, Sinosteel Philippines HY Mining Corp., Oriental Synergy Mining, Wellex Mining, Libjo Mining, Oriental Vision Mining Philippines, Benguet Corp., Ore Asia Mining and Development Corp., Adnama Mining Resources, Claver Mineral Development, Platinum Development Corp., CTP Construction and Mining, Carrascal Nickel Mining, Marcventures Mining and Development Corp., Hinatuan Mining, Mt. Sinai Exploration Mining & Development, EMIR -Resources.
 
Meanwhile, the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) said the essence of the contracts is requisite to the democratic process that must be upheld and that the recent act of Lopez invades stakeholders' right to due process and is against good governance.
 
"The cancellation of these agreements does not rest on Lopez alone but must be collectively decided upon by the President and the Cabinet considering the adverse impact it may have on the country," the Chamber said.

DENR GINA LOPEZ MINING BAN
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