MANILA Feb 20 A Philippine panel tasked to
review the environment minister's decision to shut more than
half of the country's mines could take three months to complete
it, a member of the committee said on Monday.
"Three months is probably reasonable," Finance
Undersecretary Bayani Agabin told reporters. "It will merely be
a fact-finding body, it should be unbiased."
The government's Mining Industry Coordinating Council will
review Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Regina
Lopez's order earlier this month to close 23 of the country's 41
operating mines for environmental violations including damaging
watershed areas. Another five mines were suspended.
(Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz; Writing by Manolo Serapio Jr.;
Editing by Louise Heavens)