"On the jobs, give me a year and a half. Hahamunin ko sila. A green economy can create more jobs than mining, than they could ever imagine." DENR Secretary Gina Lopez.
Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Gina Lopez has vowed to create more jobs than the 21 mining firms she ordered to be shut down in just a year and half’s time.
In an interview over dzMM radio Saturday (Feb. 4), Lopez also promised to take care of the thousands of Filipinos who have been rendered jobless by the closure of non-compliant mining companies.
“On the jobs, give me a year and a half. Hahamunin ko sila. A green economy can create more jobs than mining, than they could ever imagine,” she said.
Lopez said a “massive planning” will be conducted from February 16 to 18 in all mining areas for the creation of an “alternative economy” that will provide jobs to the displaced workers.
“Walang problema ‘yan, aayusin lahat,” Lopez assured.
The Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) earlier warned that 1.2 million Filipinos will be jobless with the closure of the mines, which Lopez ordered following an industry-wide audit that started late last year.
The Environment Secretary, however, questioned the COMP’s figure considering that government data showed there were only 235,000 jobs in the mining industry in 2014.
“Now all of a sudden, Dinagat and Surigao lang has become 1.5 million, saan nanggagaling ‘yang number na ‘yan?” she asked.