MANILA, Philippines - The Mines and Geosciences Bureau will decide within the week if the P1-billion fine imposed on Philex Mining Corp. for the tailings leak at its Benguet mine can be used for rehabilitation.
Philex earlier said it is willing to pay the fine provided it will be used for the rehabilitation and cleanup of the area affected by the tailings leak.
MGB director Leo Jasareno on Wednesday said the bureau is currently evaluating Philex's motion for reconsideration, and will release the decision this week.
"Based on our existing regulation, the penalty of P50 per ton is for the discharge of tailings into the environment. On the other hand, it is the obligation of every mining contractor to do rehabilitation in case of spill or incidents. So these are 2 different aspects of regulation," he said on ANC's News Now.
"If they can show strong proof that the penalty will be used for rehabilitation then so be it, but at the moment, moment, we are into that, finding the merit if there is of that motion for reconsideration," Jasareno added.
Last November 22, the Department of Environment Resources affirmed the imposition of a P1-billion fine on Philex Mining for the tailings leak at the Padcal mine in Benguet.
The Manuel V. Pangilinan-led mining firm was given 45 days to pay its obligations. The issue stemmed from the August 1 accidental discharge of sediments due to heavy rains from typhoons Ferdie and Gener.