Duterte plans to shut down open pit mining by year’s end

Published June 3, 2018, 6:49 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte is mulling the shutdown of open pit mining by the end of the year if such mineral development operations don’t clean up their act.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his departure statement at the Ninoy International Airport before leaving for the Republic of Korea where he is scheduled for a three-day on June 3, 2018. The President is set to meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in a summit which aims to further strengthen the bilateral relations between the two nations. ACE MORANDANTE/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Addressing the Filipino community in South Korea, the President admitted that he opposes open pit mining due to the damage caused on the environment.

“Marami tayong problema. Mining – ‘yan open pit, it’s destroying the country… Baka ipasara ko talaga ang mining na open pit [We have many problems. Open pit mining is destroying the country… I might close down open pit mining],” Duterte said in his remarks.

“Either we have to reinvent mining in Philippines or sarado kayo lahat [you’ll all be shut down] by the end of the year,” he said.

Despite the huge revenues from mining operations, Duterte said the government must make “compromise” to prevent the further degradation of the environment caused by mining. “We have to limit destruction of the environment,” he said.,

Last April, the President ordered mining firms to conduct tree planting projects and threatened to ban open pit mining next year. The government has banned new open pit mines last year due to the alleged widespread destruction to the soil and environment.