Bad mining practices affect agri growth – Gina Lopez
To Ms. Gina Lopez, bad mining practice digs a farmer deeper into poverty.
“Mining in many areas has in fact adversely affected agriculture,” said DENR Secretary Gina Lopez during a media briefing on Friday, July 1, Business World reported.
For the past year, growth of the agriculture sector is notably sluggish at 5.8%, falling below the initial target of 7% to 8%, and still lower than the revised target growth of 6%, the report said.
The mining industry reacted pessimistically to the appointment of Ms. Lopez, with listed mining shares falling abruptly on the insight that she will tighten up parameters on the sector.
“The poorest sectors in the country are farmers and fishermen and what happens with mining that is not responsible is (you) adversely affect the lives of farmers and fishermen. And that’s not good at all,” Ms. Lopez also said during the briefing.
According to 2012 data from Philippine Statistics Authority data, the poverty rate in farming and fishing communities is 38.3% and 39.2%, respectively, topping all of the categories.
The newly appointed secretary also discussed the impact on Nueva Vizcaya agriculture of Australian owned-OceanaGold Philippines, Inc. during her presentation.
Business World said that Jose P. Leviste, Jr., Chairman of OceanaGold Philippines, declined to give a comment until he gets a copy of the presentation. Also, Ms. Lopez has not yet answered to a BusinessWorld request for a copy of the presentation.