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PSE cautions DENR after ‘surprise’ announcement of mining audit result

Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) president and CEO Hans Sicat. (InterAksyon/Arman Clemente) means BUSINESS

MANILA, Philippines -- Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) president and CEO Hans Sicat said on Friday that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) should be more cautious of its announcement, following the latter’s “surprise” release of results of its mining audit.

In a press conference of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) in Taguig City, Sicat tagged the announcement made by DENR Secretary Regina Lopez closing 23 and suspending five erring mining firms as “worrisome trend” and “very irresponsible move”.

[Read related story: WATCH | DENR chief axes 23 erring metallic mining firms]

“What we saw last week, we believe that there was a surprise announcement in media of a suspension, closure of mining firms including those companies that are publicly listed. We thought this is actually a worrisome trend, if not, a very irresponsible move from the DENR,” the PSE chief said.

“This creates a huge issue for those operating the stock exchange,” he added.

Sicat mentioned that the announcement of the DENR has created confusion in the market, while global prices of nickel have increased by 7.0 to 8.0 percent when the results came out.

“It’s interesting that an announcement from a particular agency can move global prices,” he said.

He noted that the government should be consistent of its policies.

“It’s not something we want to project to global investors. We always talk about consistency of policy, consistency of execution,” Sicat pointed out.

“Surprise announcements like this, which do not sync or align with the overall economic plan of the economy, makes you wonder whether or not the policymakers have an angle on essentially on the game plan, or you have a situation where a particular individual or groups of individuals have hijacked a well-thought economic plan,” the PSE chief said.