The DENR decided to cancel the said agreements to prevent the possible destruction of watersheds caused by reckless mining.
“Yung dahilan kung bakit i-cancel yan ay kasi yung MPSA (Mineral Production Sharing Agreement) nila that was given before my time. Nung nakita ko, my goodness gracious nasa watershed yan madadamay ang tubig ng tao, ang agrikultura,ang buhay ng tao,” said Environment Secretary Gina Lopez.
The companies that were issued show cause orders were marc ventures, benguet corporation, nickle asia and other mining firms.
The said mining companies were given seven days to submit their reply to the department.
The DENR also assures that the agreement cancellation will not affect the workers in those mining areas as they are currently non-operational.
Meanwhile, Secretary Gina Lopez addressed the issue of foreign investors having afterthoughts about investing in the country due to the series of closure orders against big mining companies.
“Are we saying na mas importante ang pera nila, kaysa sa buhay ng tao? You can’t mine in watersheds,” she said.
“It’s in a watershed and umuulan taon taon sa Pilipinas. Baka may earthquake, sino madadamay dyan? Hindi yung mining company kundi yung mga taong duon nakatira.” Lopez added.
The Secretary insists that it is her job to protect the country’s environment and natural resources, as well as the welfare of the people who will be affected once these resources are destroyed.