The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) takes exception to newspaper reports that the “mining audit reports were being kept by Secretary Gina Lopez to herself and a handful of her consultants”.
DENR Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Atty. Maria Paz G. Luna clarified the reports and the respective show-cause orders were immediately provided to all 41 affected mining firms.
"Beginning October up to November last year, each mining firm was sent a copy of the individual report through registered mail, informing them of the findings and recommendations of the audit team," said Luna, adding that attached to the report was the show-cause order.
She added that in the cover letter, the mining firms were likewise told that any explanation and/or comment to the said report should be submitted to the Office of the Secretary within seven (7) days from receipt of the report.
"As proof of their receipt, all 41 responded to the report which then became one of the basis of the evaluation and decision to either close or suspend their operations."
Luna stressed that the audit reports are public records, and everyone can get a copy as long as they follow the procedure in the DENR Freedom of Information Manual, citing media and the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability as among those given out copies of the mining audit report.
According to Luna, the printed copies of the reports are available at the Legal Office of the DENR.
Meanwhile, reports and recommendations of the Technical Review Committee are available at the DENR website: www.denr.gov.ph. ###