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Ochoa asks DENR to conduct an inventory of the country's natural resources

Press Release
April 19, 2011

MALACAÑANG  –  Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. has asked the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to conduct an inventory of the country’s available natural resources in order to help the government strike a balance between mining and protecting the environment.

In an interview in Palawan over the weekend, Ochoa said he met recently with DENR Secretary Ramon Paje to discuss the matter in order to determine the value and potential of the natural resources, as well as aid the government is setting out priorities in terms of preserving and rehabilitating these.

“In mining we have to look at the big picture... It is important for the public to be aware of and understand the economic value of the country’s natural resources and their potential so they can also help us to balance mining and environmental protection,” Ochoa explained.

It is in these two areas that the Aquino Administration is striving in order to achieve a balance in the utilization of mineral deposits and preserving the natural resources.

“Mining is a very good industry, but we should also be very careful in order to protect our environment. We need to implement a balance here,” he said.

Ochoa also made a pitch to the public to become allies of the government in seeing the strict and full enforcement of environmental laws in their communities against small-mining activities, which are beyond the jurisdiction of the DENR.

“We should handle the issue of small-scale mining with regard to enforcement of environmental standards and protection,” Ochoa said.

“The public should be more vigilant. It is a matter of law enforcement and all we need to do is enforce strictly and fully the requirements before anyone can go into mining,” he added.