MANILA, March 7 (Reuters) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Tuesday he hopes there will be a “happy compromise” between the mining industry and protecting the environment, urging lawmakers to listen to his embattled environment minister’s case at a confirmation hearing in Congress.
Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Regina Lopez will appear before Congress on Wednesday in the confirmation hearing, facing pressure to defend her decision to shut more than half of the mines in the world’s top nickel ore exporter.
“I know that we need the dollars but somehow we have to look at the other way,” Duterte told an agricultural industry event.
“She has a good case. Hopefully we can strike a happy compromise there. Much more if they decide on protecting the public interest.”
Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell