Gina Lopez briefs Palace on anti-mining campaign in Palawan

By Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 28 2011 05:34 PM | Updated as of Apr 29 2011 01:34 AM

MANILA, Philippines - ABS-CBN Foundation managing director and Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) chair Gina Lopez gave a presentation on Thursday on her position against mining in Palawan to President Benigno Aquino III and members of the Cabinet in Malacañang.
"She gave us a presentation on her opposition on mining in Palawan because that is one of the most rich bio-diverse areas in the world. Her position was she's not against mining everywhere, or total ban on mining. She only asked that certain areas like mining be banned on island systems," Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda told reporters.
Following her presentation, Aquino instructed the Cabinet to "rationalize" and "fine-tune" mining laws and policies in the country.
"There was a decision to make sure that certain mining policies be refined, retuned, and issues between local laws and national laws on mining be further clarified. So that will be forthcoming: the clarifications and who will regulate small scale mining?" Lacierda said.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development was instructed to prohibit child labor, said to be practiced also in the mining industry.

"We discussed about small-scale mining and large-scale mining and coming out with certain recommendations: What's the problem, what issues, and what are the directions to be given," Lacierda said.

"He [President Aquino] said that we are going to discuss it in the broader context of the mining policies in the country," he added.
Aside from Lacierda, present in the meeting were Environment Secretary Ramon Paje, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Presidential Mananagement Staff Secretary Julia Abad, Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs Roland Llamas, Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio delos Reyes, and Peace Adviser Ging Deles.