Solon backs IRR seeking to lift open-pit mining ban

June 9, 2021 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 515 views

A VETERAN House leader from the country’s mining capital, Surigao del Norte on Wednesday expressed support to the proposed Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) on the newly issued Executive Order (EO) No. 130 by President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte, lifting the moratorium on all new mining projects.

“The proposed IRR will lift the ban on open-pit mining and this will be highly beneficial to the country. A number of big ticket mining projects ranging from $750 Million to $6 Billion dollars have been suspended and lying idle because of this ban. The pandemic has placed the economy deep in debt and I have been saying that mining is the only way out where we will no longer borrow interest laden capital to address all pandemic concerns. These investors have been waiting at our doorsteps ready to infuse much needed capital to our debt-ridden economy. Though late, the proposal is a step in the right direction,” Barbers, chairman of the House committee on dangerous deugs, said.

“Lifting the ban on these open-pit mining is not a free ticket to destruction. Strict environmental compliance measures have to be met by legitimate companies before they can resume or engage in these activities. That is why I believe that only the reputable and credible mining companies with good track records and environment friendly methods will be allowed and accredited by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to operate, to the exclusion of any and all Toms, Dicks or Harrys fly by night operators,” Barbers stressed.

Barbers also issued a precaution to all MGB and DENR officials not to treat this as an opportunity to make money at the expense of the environment and the people.

“We will be watching closely. Any and all attempts to turn this into a money-making venture by any agency official will be exposed and prosecuted,” Barbers said.