MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Environmental Group Slams Failure Of Transparency In Lafayette Mining Resumption Order

Published by MAC on 2007-02-09
Source: Center For Environmental Concerns

Environmental Group Slams Failure of Transparency in Lafayette Mining Resumption Order

Center For Environmental Concerns, Phils, Press Release

9th February 2007

"The DENR Secretary Angelo Reyes, upon his decision to grant the controversial Lafayette Philippines, Inc. a "test run" amid calls for a moratorium or a cancellation of its mining permit in Rapu-Rapu island, promised utmost transparency over the Rapu-Rapu Polymetallic Project. What ensued since that august day in July 2006 was far from it," declared Frances Quimpo, executive director, Center for Environmental Concerns, -Philippines, Inc. (CEC)

"If they now finally have an honest to goodness "state of the art" mining facilities in Rapu-Rapu they should be flaunting it most especially to the local folks and its critics. Yet, the folks in Rapu-rapu have complained of harassment from Lafayette guards, since the "test run". Greenpeace confirmed this with their experience in a well-publicized harassment incident in August, 2006. CEC, itself, has asked for copies of the DENR's monitoring reports since October 11, 2006 and to this day we are still waiting for these reports," lamented Quimpo. "Secretary Reyes has been speaking of a Technical Working Group and of a Multipartite Monitoring Body, who and where are these people? How independent are they from Lafayette and the Chamber of Mines? Where are their reports and outputs? asked Quimpo.

DENR Secretary Reyes in his test run order required the "institution of transparency and validating mechanisms," among others. He further issued a memorandum in July ordering his officials to closely monitor and evaluate all mining activities and critical mining facilities. Among the important directives of the memorandum were 1) immediate reporting for proper action of any impending danger or damage at the tailings ponds and waste dams, 2) identification and determination of the magnituse of the damages caused by geohazards such as landslides and floods; 3) geohazrd mapping; and 4) close coordination with RDCC regarding geohazard to forewarn the population of any impending catastrophe.

The absence of these reports amid continued publicities about Lafayette's claims, and DENR's similarly-sounding press releases, makes the Permanent Lifting Order (PLO) decision suspect. The PLO is but another decision that the current administration has been forcing on the people without sound reason and scientific basis. The Lafayette PLO reflects a serious failure of transparency and serious failure of governance for the people and the environment.," said Quimpo.


FRANCES Q. QUIMPO, 0928502960
Center for Environmental Concerns-Philippines, Inc. (CEC)
No.26 Matulungin St., Bgy. Central Quezon City, Philippines 1100
TelefaxNo. +632-9209099,+632-9248756

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