The ban on open pit mining in the Philippines remains even after the inter-agency Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) voted to reverse the policy, a Palace official said on Monday.

“I assure you that this is one of the instances when I personally asked the President if there’s been a change in policy and he says, that there is still no new policy on this, there is still a ban on new open pit mining,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Place briefing.

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu had earlier told reporters that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) would issue a DAO (DENR Administrative Order) restoring open-pit mining operations.

 “A majority of the MICC members voted to recommend a change in the policy of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources with regard to DAO 2017-10, particularly, that the DENR lift the ban on open-pit mining provided that mining laws, rules and regulations are strictly enforced,” Cimatu said.

Cimatu co-chairs the Cabinet-level, interagency MICC together with Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III.

In April, former environment secretary Regina “Gina” Lopez issued DAO 2017-10 that imposed a ban on the open-pit method of mining.


Reprinted from: dated November 20, 2017