MANILA - Environment Secretary Gina Lopez told business leaders on Wednesday that she was not against mining, but will strictly enforce environmental laws.
Since assuming office on June 30, Lopez, a known environment advocate, has suspended at least five mines for unsafe practices.
"I am not against the mining industry. Mining has a role to play in the sphere of human development," Lopez told a general meeting of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines.
"We all use the goods which mining does come up with. I am totally totally against anyone doing business and causing suffering," she said.
READ: Shape up or ‘go home,’ Lopez tells Chinese miners
Lopez said Duterte told her that he had a "non-negotiable stand for the common good."
"I know he's there for the common good. That's what drives him. That's his commitment," she said.
Lopez said she would open a hotline for public complaints and would dedicate one day each week as "people's day," adding "I will be personally there in my office."