MANILA Feb 14 The Philippine environment
minister on Tuesday ordered the cancellation of mining contracts
in watershed areas, taking another bold step in protecting
resources from extraction after earlier shutting more than half
of the country's mines.
The total mining contracts to be rescinded is 75.
"You kill watershed, you kill life," Environment and Natural
Resources Secretary Regina Lopez told a media briefing.
Many of the mining contracts, called mineral production
sharing agreements, are still in exploration stage, and Lopez's
latest action suggests she will not allow development of new
Lopez on Feb. 2 ordered the closure of 23 of the
Philippines' 41 mines for causing damage to watersheds and
siltation of coastal waters and farmlands. Another five mines
(Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz, Writing by Manolo Serapio Jr.;
Editing by Himani Sarkar)