Erratum: The author of the article is Diana C. Tomale, not Zea Io Ming C. Capistrano as previously posted.
DAVAO CITY – The indigenous peoples’ group Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (Katribu) appealed to local governments to emulate Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s stance on mining.
“We hope that this mining ban in Davao City encourages other local government units to institute ordinances against large-scale mining,” said Katribu spokesperson Piya Macliing Malayao .
She lauded applauded Duterte’s support in banning mining saying that the indigenous peoples “are the most affected of the devastating effects of large-scale and corporate mining”.
“We are happy with the ordinance,” she said.
“Indigenous peoples from all over the country cheer Duterte’s stance on mining. We are very happy that Davao City has declared an audacious mining ban despite the goons and guns of mining corporations,” she said.
According to Malayao, the Cordillera region has mining applications “that threaten many communities of indigenous peoples”.
These applications cover almost 1.8 million hectares, while 20 large-scale mining corporations are operating in Caraga, covering up to 534,540.22 hectares.
“The worst mining disaster in the Philippine history has happened in Cordillera with the Philex Mining spill. Caraga’s rich mineral lands are plundered relentlessly by corporate mining in expense of the people and the environment. If anyone else, the local governments in the provinces of Cordillera and Caraga must take steps to ban mining in their areas,” Malayao said.
“We urge other local governments to heed the people’s call against large-scale, destructive mining that is wreaking havoc to their constituents and the environment,” she added.
Meanwhile, Tagum City Mayor Allan Rellon said that he supports the pro-environment measure of Duterte.
“I need to read the whole draft ordinance. However, by the title itself, that’s a pro-environment measure and I am okay with that,” Rellon said.
He also added that he is open to the idea of coming up with the same ordinance for his city.
The ordinance closing off Davao City to mining activities was passed by the city council during its regular session last May 5. (davaotoday.com)