Surigao del Sur Rep. Prospero Pichay Jr. apparently still can’t forgive Environment Secretary Gina Lopez for suspending the Mindanao-based mining company he owns.
During the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) budget hearing Friday (Sept. 2), Pichay asked DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez if the Philippine economy will take a hit if mining companies, especially those that mine nickel, are closed down.
While Lopez acknowledged that such a move will have an impact on the economy, he said it is unlikely that all mining companies will be closed down.
He said those which meet international standards are likely to pass the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ stringent audit.
In an apparent reference to Gina Lopez, Pichay remarked: “It seems you’re not united in the Cabinet, because there’s one crazy secretary who wants all mining companies closed.”
DENR has suspended nickel miner Claver Mineral Development Corporation (CMDC) in Surigao del Norte last August. It is the seventh mining company whose operations has been suspended under the Duterte administration.
Pichay acquired 60 percent of the corporation and was elected president of the board of directors in September 2015.