Philex Mining backs Duterte’s drive vs irresponsible mining

MANILA — Philex Mining Corp. is open to whoever President-elect Rodrigo Duterte appoints to head the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

“Philex has committed to support President Duterte and his drive against illegal and irresponsible mining,” said Atty. Michael T. Toledo, MVP Group Media Bureau head and Senior Vice-President for Public and Regulatory Affairs at Philex.

“We are open to sitting down and working with the new DENR Secretary to further the President’s call, to stamp out the illegal and irresponsible miners who give the industry a bad name,” he added.

The incoming President has designated anti-mining advocate Gina Lopez as DENR Secretary.

Toledo said the President-elect had “every right to appoint whoever he deems fit to become the next (DENR) Secretary, not just on a matter of competence, but also on a matter of trust and confidence as a member of his official family.”

He added that in its 60 years of living the tradition of responsible mining, Philex has adhered to “doing what is right” according to international standards, in response to the President-elect’s statements made at the recent Sulong Pilipinas Davao conference.

With regards to the impact of the acceptance of Gina Lopez as DENR Secretary, Toledo said that perhaps “we should give her a chance as she is a known advocate for climate change and environmental protection.”

“I understand that she (Lopez) has made recommendations to President Duterte on how to move the industry forward; we are always open to working with whoever would want to improve the industry and move the nation forward towards economic development and inclusive growth,” he said. Lilybeth Ison/PNA/