President Rodrigo Duterte met with various mining companies in the country at the Heroes Hall of Malacañan Palace on August 3, 2017. (ACE MORANDANTE/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO)

DAVAO CITY, Philippines—Aware of the destruction brought upon by open-pit mining to the environment, President Rodrigo Duterte is mulling to ban all open pit mining operations in the country.

“If there’s an erosion and contamination of water, you cancel, because in the coming days, I might just decide to ban open-pit mining,” Duterte said in his speech at 17th the founding anniversary of Digos City.

Duterte said that most of the mining operations in Mindanao are owned by corporations from Manila.

‘All of you are getting richer and millionaire. I did not hear a rich miner from Digos. All are corporations from Manila,” the President said in Cebuano.

While Duterte hinted that he may eventually close all the open pit mining operations in the country, he also recognized that to some extent such practice may be allowed because of the existing law.

“If there is and if it’s still allowed, I cannot stop it because there is a law. If I were to decide on it, I’d end it,” he said.

Duterte has reechoed the same view on Tuesday, September 5, when he ordered Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu to close all open pit-mining operations, citing the points raised by Cimatu’s predecessor, Gina Lopez, whose appointment was rejected by the Commission on Appointments in May.

Lopez has been calling government to turn down mining investments, and asked extractive companies to “go away” and do their business elsewhere. (

comments powered by Disqus