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DENR chief to work with miners if...

Environment Secretary Gina Lopez said she is willing to work with the biggest mining groups if they find a way not to damage the ecology.
Lopez said her message to the mining firms is the same for everyone in the country who care for mother nature.
“If they find a way not to damage the ecology, I can work with them in the direction of area development.
The quality of life and well being of our people are of utmost importance.
Economic activity should not kill our rivers, our streams, our seas (and) our biodiversity because all (of) these are necessary for quality of life,” Lopez said.
She said mining firms, especially the listed ones, are raking in billions of pesos in revenues but no matter how big they make out of operating in provinces, these should not overshadow the care for humans.
“The money they want to make cannot and must never be more important than the lives of our people.
Where the people involved with them are earning and thousand others suffer is killing the human and economic potential of the country. This I am convinced is the way forward for our country,” she added.
The biggest firms involved in mining are Nickel Asia, Philex, Oceana Gold, Carmen Copper, Philsaga, Filmenera, Sagittarius Mines, Holcim and Semirara.
Many doubts Lopez’s conviction for the environment. Miners said Lopez is strongly opposing mining of metallic elements but not with non-metallic.
Her family is a majority owner of the oldest quarrying-equipment for rent corporation for mining, the First Balfour, Inc.
Miners said quarrying is classified as open pit mining as its operations are entirely similar to mining of whatever elements such as gold, silver, copper or nickel.
Lopez is the only secretary in the Duterte administration who’s been bypassed thrice. Her contemporary in the cabinet, Perfecto Yasay of the Department of Foreign Affairs, was unanimously rejected for lying about his true nationality. 

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