Lopez says to raise mining standards after inspections

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 16 2016 04:00 PM

MANILA – The government will impose stricter standards on mining after a two-month long review of the extractive industry, Environment Secretary Gina Lopez said Friday.

Results of the mining audit will be released next week, Lopez said. Loose regulation in the past had led to environmental degradation, she said.

Lopez said she would push for regulation that would be more stringent than those in Australia and Canada.

“It’s making a statement on what’s allowable and what’s not,” she told ANC’s “Market Edge with Cathy Yang.”

“That’s why we are full of gaping holes that are just left there. Our standards are so low and that can no longer be allowed to exist because these low standards lay damage to our future,” she said.

The Philippines, the world's top nickel ore supplier has so far suspended operations of 10 mines, eight of them nickel, for violating environmental rules, and the government has said more mines will be halted.

The crackdown is aimed at enforcing stricter environmental protection measures, with tough-talking President Rodrigo Duterte warning in August that the nation could survive without a mining industry. -- with reports from Reuters