December 15, 2016 at 08:28 pm
Anna Leah E. Gonzales
The Environment Department said Thursday it cancelled the environmental compliance certificates of six companies for their alleged failure to meet some of the government conditions for their operations.
Environment Secretary Regina Lopez said in a news briefing the companies whose ECCs were cancelled were Century Communities Corp., Austral-Asia Link Mining Corp., Ipilan Nickel Corp., Core Mining Corp., Lebach Mining Corp. and Donggwang Clark Corp.
Century Communities is the developer of the proposed 58-hectare Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System housing project in La Mesa dam.
Lopez said the proposed housing project would be located 24 meters above the water level.
“The DENR has decided to adopt social justice. Social justice means that the use of the land benefits the greater majority and the common good. It is in our determination that we issue policy such as the use of the land contributes to the well being of our people,” Lopez said.
“If you have households and it rains, that waste will go down the water table which will eventually go down the water reservoir. The land is still in a protected area even if they already sold it so we decided to cancel the ECC. The cancellation will be effective immediately,” said Lopez.
Environment undersecretary for legal services Ipat Luna said the ECC given to Century Communities was subject to a lot of conditions. “Some conditions are fulfilled while some were not. They need a permit from the DENR for tree cutting and we cannot give them that because of Republic Act 1336.
“Why keep the ECC alive if they are constricted to do the conditions. The ECC as a planning tool can be cancelled and changed. We see no future in the fulfillment of the conditions since we are constrained to that,” Ipat said.
The agency said Austral-Asia’s project was located between two heritage sites in Davao. “On one side is a bonsai forest and the other side is a cove. We’ve sent our people there for a biodiversity. The people that live there are very unhappy about the mining that’s happening there. In the context of social justice and common good we are canceling it,” Lopez said.
Lopez said the ECCs of the other companies had lapsed. “We are also denying the ECC of Egerton Gold in Batangas because it is located in Verde passage which is the center of marine biodiversity of the planet. We told the company is not compatible with the current plans for tourism of the town,” Lopez said.
The department also issued ‘show cause’ orders to 11 companies which included mining, cement and manufacturing companies.