MAC: Mines and Communities

Center For Environmental Concerns-philippines (cec-phils) Press Release

Published by MAC on 2006-11-10
Source: CEC-Phils

DENR okayed second Lafayette test run extension but snubbing request for independent fact-finding probe into Rapu-Rapu, environmental NGO says

Center for Environmental Concerns-Philippines (CEC-Phils) Press Release

10th November 2006

The Center for Environmental Concerns-Philippines (CEC-Phils) today assailed the DENR for "failing to act upon requests to conduct an independent environmental probe into Rapu-Rapu while hastily granting a second test run extension to Lafayette Philippines Inc.". CEC was looking into the merits and basis of the extended test runs granted to the controversial mining company.

"There appears to be no solid basis for the DENR to approve the extension. Environment Secretary Angelo Reyes himself admitted, that the second extension would allow them to inspect the Rapu-Rapu project if it is complying with DENR requirements. On what grounds then does DENR derive its decision to further extend the test runs if their officials themselves have yet to inspect the site up to now? These test runs are long drawn out. Lafayette has been accorded with unprecedented accommodations in spite of bungling its operations. It is high time that these claims of DENR and Lafayette officials be subjected to public scrutiny. " CEC-Phils Executive Director Ces Quimpo said

"It's questionable why the DENR speedily approved Lafayette's request for yet another extension, but has taken no action on our earlier offer to conduct a fact-finding probe in Rapu-Rapu by environmentalists, scientists, and community representatives," Quimpo added..

"In a letter dated October 10, 2006 and received by the DENR Records Management and Documents Division October 11, 2006, CEC-Phils requested for a permit from the DENR to let an independent fact-finding team from the CEC-Phils and Defend Patrimony to visit the mine site and the Lafayette facility. We also requested for the DENR's monitoring reports on the 30-60 day test runs. This was organized in response to the government's seeming slowness in addressing and investigating Lafayette's state of operations during its two extended test runs ," Quimpo recalled.

"We have been diligently following up this request with them for almost a month already, but the DENR has yet to respond. The DENR's repeated snubbing of such a valid and well-intentioned probe seems to be a delaying tactic against concerned environmental organizations who want to independently look into the validity of Lafayette's application for a Permanent Lifting Order as soon as possible," Quimpo said.

CEC-Phils is a non-stock, non-profit non-government organization offering research, education and advocacy assistance to grassroots communities. Sagip Isla, Sagip Kapwa, Inc. a community based organization in Rapurapu island, is one of the CEC's community partners which has been affected by Lafayette's mining operations.

Reference: Frances Quimpo
Center for Environmental Concerns-Philippines, Inc. (CEC)
No.25 Matulungin St., Bgy. Central
Quezon City,
Philippines 1100
TelefaxNo. +632-9209099,+632-9248756

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