Miners claim they are ready to step up to President Duterte’s challenge

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President Rodrigo R. Duterte signs on the guestbook after arriving at the Edwin Andrews Airbase on July 21. He is welcomed by Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco Salazar and Brigadier General Domingo B. Palisoc, commander of the third Air Division of the Philippine Air Force. (MNS photo)

President Rodrigo R. Duterte signs on the guestbook after arriving at the Edwin Andrews Airbase on July 21. He is welcomed by Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco Salazar and Brigadier General Domingo B. Palisoc, commander of the third Air Division of the Philippine Air Force. (MNS photo)

MANILA, Aug 2 (Mabuhay) – Following the warning of President Rodrigo Duterte that mining companies must strictly follow stricter environmental rules or close shop, the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) on Tuesday said its members are willing to step up to the challenge.

“We continue to take the President’s statements as a challenge for us in the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines to step up our efforts and practices in adhering to the tenets of responsible mining,” the group said in a statement.

During his first press conference as President, Duterte on Monday warned miners to heed environmental rules or they will be shut down as the nation could survive without a mining industry.

“We will survive as a nation without you… Either you follow strictly government standards or you close down,” he said.

COMP said it will abide by the stricter measures now in place.

“Us in the Chamber are covered by a strict edict to safeguard our people, environment and country’s interests and we will continue to abide by the law as the President has stressed to us in the industry and support his effort to weed out the irresponsible miners who conduct their business without regard for the law,” it said.

Last month, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Regina Paz Lopez ordered a nationwide audit of the mining industry to ensure that all operations fall within international standards.

The audit has yet to be concluded. (MNS)

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