THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said it has launched a responsible mining information campaign which it hopes will promote “pro-people” business practices while clearing up the public’s “misconceptions” about the industry.

“Our goal is to harness this mineral wealth for progress and development and the key to that is responsible mining,” Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said in a statement.

“It will have a contributory effect siguro (maybe) but ang the key really is for the mining companies to be able to show that they are capable to undertake responsible mining… It’s really to come up with a more positive or balanced perspective of what mining is,” Analiza R. Teh, undersecretary for climate change and mining concerns at the DENR, said in a chance interview during the launch of the campaign in Quezon City Friday.

She was asked whether the campaign would lead to the resolution of the current moratorium on approving new permits and the ban on open-pit mining.

“This is part of the campaign because there are still a lot of hurdles… we hope that by communicating to the general public and especially the decision-makers… (to support the) mining industry… because it is a contributor to the economic development of any country,” Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) Director Wilfredo G. Moncano said in a news conference after the launch.

The mining and quarrying industry contacted 4.9% in the third quarter, widening the year-earlier contraction of 1.3%, due to the 18.4% decline in nickel mining.

The #MineResponsibility campaign seeks to create a clearer and more factual image of the mining industry, the DENR said, and hopes to reverse misconceptions about the industry.

“Increasing awareness on the dynamics about our policies, the reforms that we are undertaking, the contribution of the sector, and (mining companies’) efforts to be compliant,” Ms. Teh said. — Vincent Mariel P. Galang