DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño commended Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and the city council for declaring the city a no-mining zone, saying this showed their political will in the face of intense lobby from mining companies.
“I commend Mayor Duterte and the city council of Davao for taking this bold step for the environment. Not all local officials have the guts to go against the rich and powerful mining companies. I likewise express support for other local government units now being castigated by mining companies for prohibiting mining operations in their localities,” Casiño said.
Duterte has stood firm in her stand against mining, especially large-scale ones, in her city. “I am not stopping investors to come here in Davao it is just that I am not in favor of mining,” Duterte said.
Casiño, who was here for a visit, is the author of House Bill 4726 which seeks to close areas declared by local government units (LGUs) as No-Mining Zones from mining applications and operations. This seeks to amend the Philippine Mining Act of 1995.
Along with fellow Bayan Muna Rep Neri Colmenares, Casiño also sponsored two resolutions supporting the mining moratoriums declared by the provincial governments of Capiz and Negros Occidental. The House committee on natural resources has approved both resolutions.
“While mining is recognized as one of the main contributors to the country’s gross domestic product, there is a growing resistance to large scale mining in the areas where these operate,” according to Casiño.
Aside from Davao City, communities from different provinces such as Capiz, Marinduque, Palawan, Romblon, Negros Occidental, Eastern Samar, South Cotabato and Zamboanga del Norte have passed local ordinances declaring a ban on mining operations or moratorium on applications, Casiño said.
“The communities in host provinces are the ones directly affected by mining operations and therefore have the right to be heard,” Casiño said.
Mining has taken center stage once again as Malacañang finalizes its draft executive order on the industry. A draft that was earlier leaked to mining companies raised alarm in the industry for being biased against them.
Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima allayed such fears but stressed the government wants a larger revenue share from mining.
Mining corporations see the impending executive order as a “make or break” deal for the industry. – Rappler.com