President Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to go after mining companies which are not following the standard best practices, citing model mining operations in Canada and Australia.
“We will go after mining na hindi sumusunod sa (not following the) standard best practices,” he said before hundreds of environment advocates and students of the Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU) during the Mindanao Environment Summit Thursday afternoon.
The summit was organized by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in collaboration with AdDU. It aims to engage the stakeholders and involve them in the implementation of programs and projects of DENR especially for Mindanao.
President Duterte hit on the “oligarch” who controls the operations and leaves nothing for the people of Mindanao.
“The worth of this country is owned by a few guys hindi naman lahat mayaman na (not really all the rich) – oligarch built empire for many years,” he said, adding that they are the kind of rich people getting the resources…get most of the concessions franchises given freely through money, influence and sheer greed.
President Duterte, however, admitted he is fighting a “monster”, whose caprices he promised to destroy.
President Duterte slammed firms operating open pit mining like in Tubay, Agusan del Norte. “Kung magpunta kayo doon parang dinaro parang inararo (If you go there it’s as if they are plowing) as if they are going to plant something there,” he said.
Others, he said, keep digging, leaving nothing for the future of the children. “That is why…nagtapang-tapangan ako dito (I am taking a brave front) here. I want to protect Davao City and my country for the children.
When he was mayor of Davao, Mr. Duterte banned metallic mining in the City.
He also pointed to the local officials’ failure to stop mining. “Yung (Those) local officials kasi sila ang huling baraha (they are the last card) to give the environmental clearance,” he stressed but what happened was it (issuance of permit) became a source of corruption all over the country.
The President feared Mindanao will become a wobbling island because of irresponsible mining operations. He reminded the people that God created the planet with just enough bodies of water and land.
“There has to be a limit in mining activities,” he stressed.
President Duterte vowed to open all opportunities to all Filipinos irrespective of race and tribe. “It’s about time to reconfigure the work of the nation among the citizens,” President Duterte pointed out. (Lilian C. Mellejor/PNA)