by Myrna Velasco, 17 July 2015
from Manila Bulletin
The Department of Energy (DOE) has ordered the immediate suspension of Semirara’s coal mining operations following confirmed deaths at its site.
The suspension order was immediately served by Energy officer-in-charge Zenaida Y. Monsada, while stipulating that such will stay while an investigation will be thoroughly carried out as to the incident at Semirara Mining.
The DOE apprised media that based on preliminary report forwarded to them, “the incident occurred at 3:30 a.m. at the north edge of the Panian mine” of the Semirara coal mining field. Semirara’s mining operations is covered by coal operating contract (COC) No. 5.
In the last two years, this is the second time that major catastrophe happened at the coal mine – with the last one resulting in lost lives also.
The company said “management has condoled with the families of the victims and is giving them full support.”
While dealing with this tragedy, the company noted that it has been addressing concerns as to “ensuring adequate supply of coal for power generation since it has stopped operations in the affected area in compliance with an order from the DOE.”