Duterte firm on stance to stop mining in PH
President Duterte is considering calling for a “revolution for mining” as he continued to dwell on his desire to stop mining in the country once and for all following deadly landslides that killed people in Benguet in the aftermath of Typhoon “Ompong.”
“I can’t stop mining because I’m not allowed to abrogate any law here but I want to stop it because it created a monster in the country,” Mr. Duterte said on Tuesday in typhoon-hit Isabela where he held yet another situation briefing on “Ompong’s” aftermath.
The President continued to speak on the way mining, especially open pit mining now being illegally undertaken by people occupying abandoned mine sites, had led to the destruction of the environment and killed marine life.
What angered the President the most was how, as he put it, “obnoxious and downright stupid mining people occupying watershed areas” were.
“I don’t know if I have to call for a revolution for mining, revolution in the sense that I won’t … but I will pull them out,” Mr. Duterte said.
He said the government only makes P17 billion in taxes from mining.
While Mr. Duterte said his economic managers were “hesitant” about a mining ban, he said he would “like to ask how much P17 billion can do to the country if compared to the losses of the Philippines because of mining.”
The problem with mining as well was that miners mine at the back of houses, backyards and even in front of homes, according to the President.
Early on Tuesday, the Palace acknowledged that Mr. Duterte clearly insinuated that the executive branch of government would push for a ban on mining in the country when he spoke the other day.
“I think there was already a clear insinuation but we will see how it goes,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said when asked whether the President would push for the repeal of the Mining Act.
Roque was referring to the statement of Mr. Duterte in Benguet on Monday.
But Roque also pointed out the need for a “delicate balance between the economics of mining and the police power of the state to protect the lives and the environment of the state.”
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