Environment’s Hope: Gina Lopez

IN TODAY’S industrial age, the mining business plays an important role in shaping the modern technological necessities. To be sure, mining operations are not per se illegal or unproductive, irresponsible mining is. The products of mining are what made up most of our technologies today. But while it is beneficial, it is also harmful to the environment if remains to be overlooked. It should be balanced with the ecological stability concomitant of our duty to preserve and conserve our environment which in turn comprises the very patrimony where we extract our daily necessities in life. For this, the government through policy coordination, laws and rules, and regulations – intervention – sets in.

With the intricacies of the processes of the issuance of the ECC from the DENR and the thorough and meticulous examinations of the applications of the Department of the same before a mining industry can operate in a certain region, the only hope of the environment today is the Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

While it is true that the conservation and preservation of the environment lies in the first instance in the people, and the corporate social responsibility of that duty is divulged in the mining industry itself – the ultimate responsibility in this developing with an industrial complex country lies at heart in the government, particularly in the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Upon the ad interim appointment of Sec. of Gina Lopez last year, and now on the process of confirmation before the Commission on Appointments, the DENR has, once again, a passionate and environment-philanthropist Secretary who will pursue a clean-and-green policy and promote a responsible mining operation in the country.

A former missionary for twenty years who traveled through Portugal, India, and Africa, and a former chairperson Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission in 2010. She also initiated the Bantay Banta 163 for which she received the 1997 International Public Relations Award of Excellence for the Environment and Outstanding Manilans Award for Environment in 2009.

Last month, she ordered to shut down 23 mining operations in the country. As expected, many opposed but can hardly tame her.

Some consider her as a “gift” from God.