Climate justice group cries foul over DENR’s incompetence on Semirara operations
The recent decision of the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR) to lift the July 21 suspension order of the environmental compliance certificate (ECC) of Semirara Mining and Power Corp. was a show of blatant disregard for the 14 lives lost and the environmental degradation and destruction Semirara’s mining operations have caused over the years.
The Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), comprised of 103 member organizations from different sectors across the nation, deems this act as unacceptable coming from a government agency mandated to ensure the proper use of the country’s environment and natural resources.
“Even if mining operations in Semirara are still suspended due to the suspension order still in place by the Department of Energy (DOE), this move by DENR clearly reflects the current Administration’s attitude of complacency and neglect when it comes to human rights violations. Now, P-Noy must answer for 14 more deaths that resulted from his continuous insistence on fossil fuel dependence,” said Glenn Ymata, PMCJ Energy Program Officer.
“While DENR concludes that the recent landslide in the Panian Mine was a ‘fortuitous’ event, there exists a bigger picture. This is not merely an issue of a single landslide. The environmental impacts of mining in Semirara have been felt for years,” added Ymata.
These environmental impacts include many hectares of mangrove lost through clearing, land reclamation, and dumping of infill, build up of toxic contaminants in surrounding waters, increased particulate matter in the waters and air, loss of coral areas, and air and water pollution.
Atty. Aaron Pedrosa, Sanlakas Secretary General, calls for transparency and accountability from DENR, especially in their investigations during the 2013 and 2015 mining incidents. “The DENR and the current Administration must be held accountable for the environmental impacts of mining in Semirara. They must release the results of the investigation last 2013 and involve more civil society groups and people’s organizations in the current investigation. We do not want the results of this investigation to go unnoticed and forgotten like before. The 14 lives lost deserve to be more than just a number, only remembered when another landslide occurs.”
Philippine Movement for Climate Justice
August 16, 2015
Mr. Glenn Ymata, PMCJ Energy Program Officer – 09273035274, firstname.lastname@example.org
Atty. Aaron Pedrosa, Sanlakas Secretary General & PMCJ Energy Working Group Head – 09275924830
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