MANILA – Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said there was a “failure” in due process when Environment Secretary Gina Lopez ordered the closure or suspension of 28 mines without proper consultations.
Dominguez told lawmakers deliberating on Lopez’s appointment that she did not consult various agencies, including the labor and social welfare departments, when she moved against the mining industry.
The finance chief was justifying the conduct of a multi-stakeholder review of Lopez’s order by the Mineral Industry Coordinating Committee, a Cabinet oversight body co-chaired by the two.
“There was some kind of failure in the discharge of due process,” Dominguez said. “My job is to make sure that the deficiencies of others are covered.”
Lopez, who is abroad, had said that she followed due process when she inspected the entire mining industry for compliance with environment laws.
Dominguez said he wanted to “make sure that when you close a mine, it stays closed.”
“This is my job, just to make sure that the risk management is covered,” he added.
Data from the finance department showed that the closure or suspension of 28 mines would result in P821 million in revenue losses. Should 75 other contracts be cancelled, the ministry expects another P78 million in losses.
Lopez last week asked President Rodrigo Duterte to suspend the MICC review since such power is reserved for the environment department.