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Multi-Agency Four Billion-Peso Effort to Produce Green Jobs in Closed Mines – LOPEZ

As many as 30,000 households could benefit from green jobs that will be generated by a multi-agency four billion-peso investment in three provinces that will be affected by mine closures as a result of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) mining audit that shut down mines near watersheds in Surigao Del Norte, Surigao Del Sur, and the Dinagat Islands.

This according to DENR Secretary Gina Lopez, who on Tuesday emphasized that the closure of mines would not result in job losses that could adversely affect the lives of residents dependent on mining for their livelihood.

“It is incumbent upon us in government to provide alternatives for our citizens who are affected by our policies. We want to protect the environment, and want to show that we can save lives and provide livelihood at the same time,” said Lopez.

According to Lopez, the DENR together with ten other government line agencies are prepared to invest close to four billion pesos to provide employment opportunities for 25 to 30 thousand households.

The other agencies include the Department of Labor and Employment, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Science and Technology, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Philippine Coconut Authority, the Department of Public Works and Highways, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

“We have a very good, very doable plan that will provide employment in the short and long term, jobs that do not involve mining activities that will damage our much-needed watersheds,” explained the DENR chief.

Short-term employment opportunities include reforestation, desilting of agricultural land, napier and bamboo farming, livestock raising, and biochar manufacturing.

Biochar is a powerful soil enhancer that holds carbon and makes soils more fertile. It can boost food security, discourage deforestation and preserve cropland diversity. Biochar systems can reverse soil degradation and create sustainable food and fuel production in areas with severely depleted soils, scarce organic resources, and inadequate water and chemical fertilizer supplies.

Medium and long-term jobs, on the other hand, will be generated by the manufacture of charcoal briquettes, ecotourism activities, infrastructure, and agro-post harvest processing.

Lopez stressed that “providing economic opportunities and protecting the environment are not mutually exclusive.”

“It is not one one or the other; we can and should do both at the same time, because we cannot sacrifice the welfare of future generations to meet short-term economic objectives.”

The environment secretary added that even experts from the Mineral Policy Center based in Washington, D.C. have referred to water as “mining’s most common casualty.”

“Any competent scientist will tell you that mining affects fresh water through the heavy use of water in processing ore, and through water pollution from discharged mine effluent and seepage from tailings and waste rock impoundments,” explained Lopez.

Lopez said she hoped legislators and fellow cabinet secretaries “look at the issue of protecting our watersheds in the long term because we could face a very, very serious problem with water many years down the road.”

A study conducted by the think tank World Resources Institute (WRI) said in late 2015 that the country is in danger of experiencing water scarcity in 23 years. The study predicts the Philippines will experience a “high” degree of water shortage in the year 2040.

The Philippines is ranked 57th out of 167 countries that will likely be a water stressed country in 2040. The study defines water stress as “the ratio between total water withdrawals and available renewable surface water at a sub-catchment level.”

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5 replies on “Multi-Agency Four Billion-Peso Effort to Produce Green Jobs in Closed Mines – LOPEZ”

Now, this opportunity of public investments into several provinces shall provide the nucleus principle to avoid ecosystems irreversibility.Land Use Planning to identify best uses of the land. The watershed must be delineated officially with no dwellers to occupy such protective area.They must be relocated in a place under the Plan.Human activities detrimental to forest ecosystems i.e. logging, kaingin “slash and burn,small scale mining,.Ecotourism may be minimal or none at all.

We have to leave politics now and think of our country’s welfare and our continuing generations of Filipinos. Finally , comes a courageous head of a most important government bureau who has a head and heart genuinely and sharply trained to a ccomplish the work at hand to stop the degradation –set the balance in motion governing our country’s natural wealth and it’s purpose and prudent sustainable use benefiting everyone,specially the still coming generations. We are not going to allow the squander of our country’s future in the service of greedy corporate profits.leaving only irreplaceable losses, destruction, toxic wastes and misery behind after taking out what they are after. Our rivers are siltated and polluted and drying, our precious watersheds vanishing, our biodiversity , irreplaceable when it’s gone, appallingly sacrificed. Thoughts about sustainability and social justice , our displaced suffering poor population , our children’s future are not in these corporate schemes, they must be balanced.The balance is in stopping now all manners of destruction and let’s all get involved – let’s work together to help put the inspiring, viable solution in place , we can do it if we recognize the importance of our involvement and our directed, unified action. Let’s give our full support and rally behind our fitting leader dedicating herself to the task courageously to lead us in this vital and urgent crusade. Mabuhay ka Secretary Gina Lopez ! Mabuhay tayong lahat at ating mga susunod pang henerasyon !
God bless the Philippines .

Madam sec. we admire your passion to serve your country Sana po marami pang maging katulad nyo ,we salute you po …..Ginang sec. kung kailangan nyo po Ng volunteer sa sobrang dami po Ng trabaho nyo sabihin nyo Lang po for the country …… we support you po …..God Bless you po ….. Mabuhay po Kayo …

Our natural environment and surrounding provides us with everything that we ever need. We get air, water, food, and everything else from the environment
Dick Lopez

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